Step Seven: Manage Continual Improvement

Before declaring conformity

Make sure that your system for the business has been thoroughly assessed for effectiveness and conformity by a Certified Lead Auditor working alone or leading a team of auditors who have successfully completed certified training.

The auditor training should be certified by an internationally recognized auditor certification program, such as RABQSA International or the International Register of Certified Auditors (IRCA). In the USA, the National Auditor Certification Program is administered by RABQSA International.

Some organizations omit the key process of design from their system. Include design if the goods, services or processes could cause injury, loss or death or if customer dissatisfaction or significant pollution could arise from inadequate control of the design process.

Are you ready for registration?

If your system is effective and conforms with the system standard you choose then you may be ready for accredited registration. Avoid going for registration with an immature system. Make sure it is the system you want.

Your system may be effective as it enables objectives to be met. It may also be difficult to use and keep up to date so, if you have the time, simplify the system before the registration assessment to reduce its operating costs. Rid your system of unnecessary bureaucracy before and after registration!

A consultant should only be retained to reduce the cost of realizing an effective system. If you have one, make sure he or she is ready to accept responsibility for saying when the system is ready for registration after an audit. We always use an impartial auditor who is separate from the advisory team.

The crunch question for selecting a registrar

Of course you will have made sure that all Registrars on your short list are accredited twice. Once as a Registrar and second for your particular industry. The ANAB is very helpful in this regard. Call them at 800 606 5394.

For additional guidance ready for downloading or printing:

LE-032 SELECTING YOUR REGISTRAR - A PARTNER FOR LIFE

After deciding which of these you trust and comparing costs (annualized over three years) the one question we have found that quickly condenses this list is:

"Please show me how your company is making sure that our existing and potential customers know and respect your certificate."

We are developing a slowly growing list of truly impartial and accredited Registrars who perform well in response to this question.

LE-098 Keep your system independent of your registrar


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