For over years we have been maintaining and continuously improving the ICI Global Competency Management Program to ensure that the competence of our audit and certification personnel are second to none.
We have processes to ensure that personnel have appropriate knowledge relevant to the types of management systems and geographic areas in which we operate. We determine the competence required for each technical area (as relevant for the specific certification scheme), and for each function in the certification activity.
We have formalized documented processes for determining the competence criteria for personnel involved in the management and performance of audits and certification. Competence criteria are determined with regard to the requirements of each type of management system standard or specification, for each technical area, and for each function in the certification process.
ICI’ assessors are assigned to conduct audits according to standards(s), technical competencies and industry expertise related to each client being audited. Each auditor is individually reviewed and if appropriate approved to ensure competence is maintained at all times. Details of such competency reviews are retained in our records as required by ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015. All assessments are conducted in accordance with our operational procedures/processes which meet all the applicable accreditation criteria such as ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015, ISO/IEC 17021-2:2016, ISO/IEC 17021-3:2013, ISO/TS 22003:2013, ISO 19011, EGAC Policies and Procedures, IAF Mandatory Documents, and all other applicable criteria.
Our auditors are well known and respected in many countries. They have many years’ experience in assessing management systems in companies, and all of our audit staff are in full compliance with ISO 19011.
Auditors are often seen as being in a “policing” role rather than in a support role. It is true that one of the components of the audit is to look for compliance with the selected management system standard but the other often ignored component is that of improvement. Certification bodies are not allowed to consult but we are allowed to identify those areas where the company could improve their activities and operations if they considered alternative ways of controlling the processes. This is an underlying tenet of our audit operations; we would rather make a dozen suggestions and have just one of them result in an improvement rather than make none because of the focus on compliance.
We are not bothered if you ignore our suggestions as you know your own business better than anyone else. We also recommend our clients to “question” us if they feel that we have generated an invalid CAR. We are always happy to explain the validity of any CARs and have yet to withdraw one! Even though we may only see our clients a couple of times a year, we try to be a part of the team, albeit part-time, and as such our clients are always free to contact us with any concerns or uncertainties about certification, the standards, or their systems.
As well-being highly skilled and competent, our auditors are trained to put your staff at ease during the audit and to make the process as stress free and value adding as possible. We aim to provide our clients with a superior level of service and a positive audit experience at all times.