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The process for gaining ISO certification is straightforward and follows a consistent approach for all management systems standards, including ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001 and ISO 27001.


To start the process, the first step is completing the Application Form

This form provides all the information required about your business so we can determine the scope of certification and calculate the audit timing and coverage.


The Assessment stage is a straight forward process which consists of two mandatory visits that form the Initial Certification Audit.  The Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits that form this process are designed to cover both the preparedness and implementation of your management system.


A Certificate is issued after the positive completion of the Initial Audit process. Certification is maintained through a programme of annual or six monthly surveillance audits and then a three yearly recertification audit, as shown below.

Stage 1

The objectives of a Stage 1 Audit are to:

  • Assess the Applicant/Client’s Documented Management System
  • Evaluate the Applicant/Client’s Locations and any site-specific conditions
  • Assess the Applicant/Client’s understanding of the requirements of the standard
  • Agree the scope of the Applicant/Client’s Documented Management System, processes and location(s) and related statutory and regulatory aspects and associated risks
  • Plan the Stage 2 Audit and establish the Applicant/Client’s planning arrangements for Internal Audits and Management Reviews
  • Determine the Applicant/Client’s readiness for a Stage 2 Audit
  • A Stage 1 Audit Report shall always be completed

Stage 2

The objectives of a Stage 2 Audit are to:

  • Evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the Applicant/Client’s Management System
  • Assess the Applicant/Client’s performance against key performance objectives and targets (monitoring, measuring, reporting and reviewing)
  • Evaluate the Applicant/Client’s legal compliance, operational control of processes, Internal Audits, Management Reviews and Policies
  • Evaluate the Applicant/Client’s links between the normative requirements, policy, performance objectives and targets, responsibilities, competence of personnel, operations, procedures, and performance data
  • Identify any areas for potential Improvement of the Applicant/Client’s Management System
  • A Stage 2 Audit Report shall always be completed


The objectives of a Surveillance Audit are to:

  • Ensure the Client’s Management System has continued to fulfil requirements between Audits
  • Ensure the Client’s Internal Audits and Management Review have been performed to programme
  • Review the Client’s actions taken on Non-Conformities identified during previous Audits
  • Evaluate the Client’s handling of any complaints
  • Evaluate the continued effectiveness of the Client’s management system, with regard to achieving the Client’s objectives
  • Evaluate the Client’s legal compliance and performance
  • Evaluate the Client’s progress of planned activities aimed at continual improvement
  • Ensure the Client’s continuing operational control
  • Review any changes to the Client’s organisation since the previous Audit
  • Ensure that PQAL and the Accreditation Body marks are being used correctly by the Client
  • Identify any areas for potential Improvement of the Client’s Management System
  • A Surveillance Audit Report shall always be completed

Surveillance audits shall be conducted at least once a year. The first planned Surveillance Audit shall take place no more than 12 months after the last day of the Stage 2 Audit

How can we help you?

Contact us at the PQAL Office nearest to you or send us an email

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