The activities performed by the registrar may include a gap analysis, pre-assessment audit, registration (initial) audit, surveillance audit, and a re-assessment audit. A gap analysis is a document review phase. This is when the quality manual is reviewed by the registrar against the ISO 9001:2000 standard. The registrar will inform you if the manual covers all elements in the standard or will identify the areas in which the manual does not meet the requirements of the ISO 9001:2000 standard.
A pre-assessment audit is a preview to see if your company is ready to be audited per ISO 9001:2000 standard. Note, this is an optional audit. However, if you do not want the possibility of failing the registration audit, then it is highly suggested that the pre-assessment audit be performed. The time it takes to perform the pre-assessment audit is normally at a fraction of the registration audit time. The real benefit of the pre-assessment audit is to familiarize your organization with the way the auditor conducts the audit. It also gives you the opportunity to find out areas of improvement with your existing Quality Management System (QMS). If you do not like the auditor for valid reasons), you may want to contact the registrar and ask for another auditor.
The next big step is the registration audit. The registration audit is to verify whether your company is effectively implementing all requirements of the ISO 9001:2000 standard. If the requirements are met, an ISO 9001:2000 Registration is granted. To ensure that your QMS is being followed and effectively maintained after the registration is granted, the registrar will perform a surveillance audit. Surveillance audits are normally performed every 6 months or every year.
Finally, after three years from the time of the initial audit, the re-assessment audit is performed. This is to renew your contract. Keep in mind that each registrar varies in their approach.
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