Annual Assessments

Ongoing checks: surveillance audits

One of the central pillars of the ISO methodology is a deliberate focus on continual improvement. One way of verifying that companies are adhering to the standards set out by certification is through annual surveillance audits.                                        With larger organisations, the audit may need to be completed through a multi-stage approach to ensure that all the individual units meet the required standards.

During the surveillance audit, all the elements covered in the stage two audit are re-assessed with a view to ensuring that all the original systems and processes are operating as specified and producing the correct outcomes.

The surveillance audit will always review these areas:

  • Systems performance and maintenance
  • Preventative and corrective actions and processes
  • The effectiveness of your own internal auditing process
  • The implementation of recommendations following your internal audits
  • Regular management reviews of ISO implementation
  • Customer satisfaction rates
  • Updates to the documentation systems

The surveillance audit will be conducted by your auditor who will check any previous nonconformities from previous inspections, the effectiveness of your systems within the context of your audits, new activities and previous results. Whilst these surveillance audits are essential for ensuring that your company stays on track, they have a deeper benefit.

Surveillance audits are an essential step in preparing your company for recertification which is planned at the end of each three-year cycle as an important step in the overall certification process.

Recertification audits

Your ISO certificate is valid for three years after your initial issue. Recertification requires you to undergo an audit similar to the initial auditing process without the need for a stage one audit.  

This audit explores the same areas as surveillance audits, only looking more deeply into the holistic and global implications of your implementation strategy. It reviews the whole of your processes and systems from beginning to end alongside investigating your continued commitment to continual improvement.

Your performance targets will come under the microscope and your company’s objectives will be the main criteria for assessment. This review includes looking at patterns of non-performance and customer satisfaction, documentation and management reviews.

In short, the auditor will perform a thorough examination of every aspect of implementation before issuing certification with a strategic assessment plan that underlines the next certification cycle.

Our approach

We understand that implementing ISO standards effectively can seem daunting for new clients. This is why our in-house policy is to always produce a gap analysis, giving you clear direction in what’s needed to achieve your chosen standard.

We only use ISO Consultants that are experts in the standard that you require but also understand ISO17021-1 conformity assessments.  


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British Made

We are British business helping other businesses in the UK. I started out running from a small, rented room in Blackpool with an entrepreneurial spirit, and a desire to help. Today, we help hundreds of businesses achieve certification and improve their processes every year.

We want to help you meet and exceed customer expectations.