Steps After The Certification : I Just Received My Certification, Now What?
So you have successfully navigated through the certification process and are ready to move on to the next phase. Below I will detail the important steps that you will need to focus on to ensure that the certification is maintained.
Goals, Objectives and Targets
As part of the certification audit you would have been required to show evidence that you have set goals, objectives and targets for the business in that particular area. Following the audit it is important to maintain focus on the monitoring and measurement of these goals, objectives and targets. Set up key reporting requirements in these areas so that it can be clearly seen periodically whether progress is being made.
Ensure feedback is given to the key stakeholders within the organization when these targets are not on track. This will include both the person/s who have been assigned the target and also an update to senior management. Have those responsible for the targets have corrective actions put in place to ensure the key measurements are put back on track
Having regular management review meetings will allow for the key stakeholders within the organization to have visibility over the progress of the plans and objectives of the certification. As a part of these meetings there should also be a check of how well the management system has been implemented and incorporated into the organization. This check should as a minimum be on an annual basis.
Also as part of this management review meeting the resources that have been dedicated to ensuring compliance with the certification should be confirmed to be adequate. Stemming from the feedback on the effectiveness of implementation of the system will be whether resources are adequate or not.
Key to ensuring compliance with the management system is to have a well-functioning internal audit program. Set up the audit plan and assign the responsibility to those that have been trained in conducting internal audits.
Monitoring of these internal audits is to be done during the management review meetings. Any findings as a part of the audit program should be brought to light during the management review meetings so that they can be monitored to completion.
An effective corrective actions system is one that is able to close these issues out in a timely manner. Ensure that targets are set on close out rates of these corrective actions and this is monitored. The closure of these corrective actions leads to the continuous improvement goal of the organisation’s certification.
Feedback to those that raise the corrective actions is also a critical step in ensuring the durability of the program. This feedback to individuals and the rest of the business as a whole generates credibility in the program thus resulting in greater participation from the whole organisation.
Having a training plan that targets the key areas of the certification is also an ongoing task that needs to be fulfilled. The successful implementation of this training plan allows for those who have been trained to further their skills in the improvement of the organization.
Training may be either conducted by in house resources of external providers. This will depend on the training that is required to be done and the experience of the trainers. Documenting this training is critical to show traceability and also to have records in regards to setting re-fresher training daters if it is required.
The status of this training plan should be tracked at the management review meeting to ensure accountability of actions are met.
An improvement plan lists out the actions that will be taken in the coming period that leads to the achievement of the goals, targets and objectives. This improvement plan needs to be followed throughout the year and actions to have assigned champions and completion dates.
The progress of the improvement plan is to be reported through the management review meetings.
Following the certification audit, there will be a number of surveillance audits that are conducted so that progress in the management system can be monitored. Attention to the above areas within the organization will make these surveillance audits an easier experience and will also lead to a greater likelihood of maintaining your certification.
Devoting time and resources to the maintenance of the management system can be drain on the business. It will be beneficial to spread that work load across the organisation so that it does not just land on the shoulders of a few people or even just the one person.
To see whether certification is right for your business, fill out our Quick Quote form or call us on 1300 495 855.