Q: I am a consultant and I have helped a dozen of companies receive certification to ISO 9001-2015: Quality management systems–Requirements. A recent client requested a specific registrar that is different than the one I have used before. That registrar states that per ANAB, the stage 1 audit must be conducted on site at the company being certified. My prior registrar claims that they do not know of this requirement. After a review of the documents and records sent to them, they conduct the stage 1 in a teleconference. Who is right?
A: No one can speak for ANAB and the requirements they have for certification bodies (CBs) for each standard except ANAB. For some standards, ANAB documents specifically state that stage 1 audits can be conducted on-site or remotely. However, in some cases, ANAB requires CBs to apply for accreditation to use Computer Assisted Auditing Techniques (CAAT).
I would recommend that a representative of the organization seeking certification formally ask for an explanation as to why remote auditing techniques cannot be used to conduct a stage 1 audit for conformity to ISO 9001:2015.
For more information about remote auditing techniques for internal and external audits you may want to consider reviewing material in the book eAuditing Fundamentals: Virtual Communication and Remote Auditing published by ASQ Quality Press.
ASQ Fellow, ASQ CQA
ASQ Quality Press Author
Member of the U.S. TAG to ISO/TC 176 on Quality Management and Quality Assurance
Quality WBT Center for Education/J.P. Russell and Associates
Find more about remote auditing on ASQ’s website.
Making Remote Work
10 Auditing Rules