Management Systems ISO 19011
Owning a company isn’t simple, so don’t let anyone fool you in this aspect, especially if it is someone who doesn’t have an idea of how difficult it is. You have to invest your money, time, put a lot of effort, and deal with several aspects and elements that will determine its growth and future. And to be honest, what we worry the most about all this is the time you will have to invest.
Not because it won’t be worth it but rather because you will have to organize yourself quite a lot and make sure that every minute counts or you will be wasting precious ones. That being said, what do we consider to be part of the most difficult parts of owning a business? Following all the ISO standards that need to be implemented.
An ISO standard is a document created for a non-governmental organization where several requirements and parameters are established to guarantee the improvement and maintenance of several management systems. Or to deal with the aspects of your company such as the quality of your products, and the efficiency of the services you provide. There are ISO standards for every element or system in your company, or a specific purpose and need you to have.
Also, the industry your company is part of is a factor that determines the standard you will need to implement either obligatory or because you want to obtain its benefits. The best about them is that, unlike what many people believe, standards aren’t limitations or something similar. Instead, we consider them—because they are—tools to achieve your goals and stay relevant in the business and industry you are part of.
Now that you are familiar with this—and we are sure you have researched more if you are here—, what type of ISO are you looking for? If your company is trying to deal with or handle its quality management system, ISO 9001 will be quite useful for you. But here, we want to suggest you one in specific that is aiming for auditing businesses or companies: ISO 19011.
This standard aims for auditing management systems and has several guidelines to understand your role as an auditing company. Also, most of the time audits come in the form or shape of programs that are created and maintained through several elements and aspects. The audit department of a company—or business that dedicates to providing programs and this service—is quite extensive.
If you are looking for this type of ISO and aiming for audit purposes, you should be already familiar with the topic. If you are not, we suggest you stop here for a second and research about what does the audit department of your company entails and why you need to deal with it or pay attention to it.
Also, what do we mean by audit programs? What are the audit risks? When we say there are many aspects involved, we are not joking at all, and the entire audit area will take a lot of time and more than just studying this ISO. Now, here we will dive into the ISO standard right away and let you know as a company with the goal of auditing management systems or as the company that will carry out it’s own auditing.
Guidance and parameters are established with this standard
All ISOs have the main goal of helping you with the area they are focused on and provide you several aspects or guidelines for you to have some improvement or even create everything from zero. In the case of 19011, it helps you to know how you need to audit the management system—from all areas and departments—of your company or someone else’s. Now, you might be familiar with a quality management system or even a security one, which are dealt with through different standards.
However, companies and people overall are not too familiar with the auditing one since they consider it to be a department or area of the company that is handled as usual and without many processes involved. To understand it better, we will go through basic concepts in order to join or organize them and end up with a final explanation. Let’s start with a simple one: what is a management system?
This system is conformed for a set of policies, processes, and procedures in every company or business that guarantees the ability of it to achieve its goal through several tasks. Overall, this system includes every aspect of a company, which is why you might be familiar with specific sections or areas. Now, what is auditing or audit?
This process consists in determining the degree of conformance with the standards you implement in your company. At least, this is one of the objectives of an audit. The other one is to determine if your company meets all the policies and laws established for the type of company you own, the products and services you offer, and everything involved with the business itself.
In simpler words, it is to ensure that your business follows every regulation, normative, and standard properly and if it doesn’t, you need to implement corrective actions. When you put both things together—management system and audit—, that means your objectives and functions are focused on conducting, planning, or managing an audit program. Which includes the policies and controls of the department in order for your company to carry out an audit program.
Going back to our main interests, ISO 19011, this standard provides resources for organizations and companies to save money and time in the audit process to also carry it out properly. Those resources include guidelines to understand audit programs and how they should be carried out and their management.
Explains how your company can conduct internal or external audits and how you can evaluate the competence of the auditors. Unlike many ISOs focused on the auditing area, this one can be implemented—and needs to be—whenever a company needs to conduct, plan, or manage an audit or its program.
Therefore, if you qualify or your company is aiming for any of these tasks, you are in the obligation of implementing it. After all, this is one of the ISOs that is mandatory for any company planning to carry out an audit, which means that your company must be certified in it in order to provide reliable audits, plan or conduct them.
You will find several standards that are not mandatory and can help you in the same area of expertise. However, are they worth implementing? You must answer this question by yourself. But when it comes to ISO 19011, we can also tell you than being mandatory won’t be what leads you to implement it but rather how useful it is for your company and duties.
What is the latest or current version?
ISOs are modified, created, and changed quite often, which is why you need to keep updated in the one you decide to implement. In this way, you will be able to renew your certification or make sure that whenever you need to carry out or go through an assessment, you won’t have problems meeting the requirements. In the case of this one, the current version is from 2018, which corresponds to the 4th edition where you will find relevant information about how to improve your audit program systematically.
As of this current edition, the concept of risk and its management has been integrated in order for companies to have a plan of action in specific situations. This is due to the revisions and changes that took place during the second and third editions. ISO 19011:2011 (3rd edition) was the one with the highest number of major changes, where the focus in the risks at the beginning of the audit where included. And from there on, ISO 19011:2018 started to develop them even more.
Other concepts, aspects, and elements were evaluated, assessed, and added to the current version in order to provide more guidelines and instructions for companies. The auditing area is quite difficult to understand due to the number of options you have and external parameters—and general ones—that need to be followed in order to conduct an audit. We are aware there is a lot to process and understand when you are involved in this industry and area. And 19011 isn’t even the beginning of it but rather a phase quite advanced when you are not familiar with it.
How can you get this ISO implemented?
Several companies go for the option of implementing standards themselves after researching, studying, and training themselves on it. However, the most common option—and we consider it the right one—is to look for support and assistance in their implementation. Especially if we are talking about a new company or one with several problems in getting certified in the ISO due to an inappropriate implementation.
If you are going for this option, we at ISO Pros can help you by providing consulting, support, and auditing services. We know everything about these standards, and ISO 19011 isn’t an exception in this case. Besides, our company is validated to provide certifications once you have met all the requirements and details in the document.
And we will be more than happy to get you certified either if you want our support or not. Just make sure to start as soon as possible since meeting standards consumes a lot of time, resources, and effort. As a company ourselves and needing to implement them as well, we give you this piece of advice: don’t underestimate how difficult they are.
Not all standards make you struggle with the procedures and processes, but when your company needs to go through several changes—more than usual—, the journey will be ten times harder. In our company, you can get access to validated and qualified auditors and professionals who have been in this area for over a decade just like us. We promise you that you won’t regret the decision of implementing this ISO for your management system auditing, and our help will only be an extra tool for the purpose.
However, if you end up doing it alone and made it without problems, make sure to get certified as soon as possible. In this way, you will get recognition and allow clients and companies to know you are able to conduct, plan, and manage audits either internals or externals. Want to give us a chance? We have our contact information on our website—phone number, email address, and form.
Also, we have extra information and details that will be useful for your research and are going to help you understand this ISO a lot better before you make the decision. Therefore, feel welcome to visit the rest of the sections, ask all your questions, and let us know if you are looking for something specific. We are here waiting to know about you and your needs.