Q: Our organization had its last external (third party) audit in December 2011 for ISO 9001:2008 — Quality management systems — Requirements. We planned to have our next audit the week of November 26, 2012, but the auditor has become ill and cannot come at that time.
Do we need to have our surveillance audit within one year of the last audit? I am considering rescheduling for the first quarter of 2013.
A: Thank you for contacting ASQ’s Ask the Experts. With regard to your inquiry, surveillance audits are usually conducted by most registrars on an annual basis. Your registrar has complete responsibility for ensuring the availability of their audit staff to conduct these audits as they are required.
In the event that no other auditors can be provided by your registrar, it would be their responsibility to ensure the audit is rescheduled to another mutually agreed upon date and, if necessary, extend your organization’s ISO 9001:2008 certification status as appropriate.
Your organization’s ability to maintain to an active QMS certification status should not be dependent upon the availability of the registrar’s auditor. I recommend that you contact your registrar to confirm the next date for your surveillance audit.
I hope this helps.
ASQ Senior Member
Managing Director of Aston Technical Consulting Services
For more information on this topic, please visit ASQ’s website.