How Can Technology Support Your Projects’ ISO Compliance Audit?

With the growing trend among capital project owners in using ISO to enforce the adoption of quality, HSE and Sustainability best practices on their projects’ delivery, checklists tend to be the preferred method to perform the compliance audit. The audit checklist, which will be unique for each ISO practice, is used to assess the organization’s compliance with the ISO quality management systems (QMS) and how its processes are implemented and maintained.

Once all the audit data has been gathered accordingly, auditor will need to analyze and determine the data, to be classified in which category of audit finding. In general, there are 4 types of Audit Findings; Non-conformance, Observation, Opportunity For Improvement (OFI) and Compliant. The Non-conformance is when a breakdown, or partial breakdown of a process in the Quality Management System (QMS) which requires Corrective Action Request to document action taken. Whereas, Observation is when a minor deviation from an otherwise well-implemented process. Opportunity for Improvement (OFI) is a finding based on facts and data that shows a potential improvement opportunity.

The audit checklist ensures the audit is conducted systematically and consistently, provides a repository for notes collected during the audit process, ensures uniformity in the performance of different auditors and provides reference to objective evidence.

How Can Technology Support Your Projects’ ISO Compliance Audit?

Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb will help in automate the ISO audit process and use the data captured in the audit process to analyze non-compliance trends and report on the overall performance of the audit process. The PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create the ISO audit checklist. There could be different audit checklists depending on the ISO standard being audited. For those involved in capital projects delivery, the most common ISO standards used are the ISO 9001 for quality management system, ISO 14001 for environmental management system and 18001 for occupational health and safety assessment. In addition, some organizations might also consider having audit checklist for ISO 10006 for quality management in projects. Those audit checklists can be created in English or any other language used by the organization like for the example those shown below which were done in Arabic.

The audit check list can be designed to capture the data needed to perform the ISO audit which will include the clause No., question No., audit question, audit finding and audit evidence. In addition, it can include comments and examples, details of the opportunities for improvement and the reference to the PMWeb module used to fulfil the audit requirement like request for inspection, daily report, etc.

The documents used to support the audit evidence will be uploaded into PMWeb document management repository. Folders and subfolders will be created to match the ISO clauses and audit questions for each ISO standard. This will help the organization in storing those audit evident documents for all projects being audited. Those uploaded documents will then be attached to the relevant ISO audit checklist.

Should there be a need to have a formal process for submitting the audit checklist for review and approval, a workflow can be created for audit checklist. The workflow could include conditions to determine who should be involved in the review and approval process depending on the ISO standard, project being audited among others.

Reporting The ISO Compliance Audit

All data captured in the audit process for all ISO standards, for all audit periods and for all projects will be available in a single real-time log. Filters can be added to the report to select which projects to display, which periods to report on, what audit actions results to be selected and which ISO standard to be included. The layout of the report can be designed in any desired format.

The same real-time data can be used to create the ISO audit dashboard for each project. The dashboard will report on the ISO standards being audited, for example ISO 9001, 14001 and 18001. The dashboard will include a donut chart to detail how many audit items were in compliance, had opportunities for improvement, reported as observation (sometimes also considered as minor non-compliance) and those reported as non-compliance. The dashboard also reports on the non-compliance trend for the past three periods where it includes both non-compliance and observations. The dashboard also details the percentage of audit findings per each clause group of the relevant ISO standard.

For those executives who are interested in having an overall view of the ISO audit across the complete projects portfolio being delivered by their organization, the projects audit dashboard will be used to provide this insight. The dashboard has similar visuals of the specific project dashboard but instead of reporting on the data of a specific project it consolidates the data from all audited projects. In addition, it provides an overall audit status of each project by showing the percentage of audit findings for that specific project.

Of course, the audit data can be also used to create more specific analysis reports like the report shown below which details the non-compliance and observation audit findings for each audit item for each project. The report consolidates the data from all audited projects and separates the data for each ISO standard.

Conclusion

With the growing trend among capital project owners in using ISO to enforce the adoption of quality, HSE and Sustainability best practices on their projects’ delivery, checklists tend to be the preferred method to perform the compliance audit. PMWeb PMIS can be used to automate and improve the audit checklist process as well as make the real-time data captured in the audit available for the organization in the desired form and format. Reports and dashboards are created to monitor and evaluate ISO compliance as well as analyze non-compliance trends.