To make sure your management system is still effective, and to follow up on the progress that has been made since our last visit. Visits occur at regular intervals.
The surveillance visits aim to confirm that the approved management system continues to:
- be maintained
- be in operation
- deliver continual improvements.
For clients who are…
a) New to the approach: The assessor will discuss the new approach and the best way to introduce it to your company and agree the arrangements for talking to senior management at the opening meeting.
b) Used to the approach: The assessor will confirm that the theme selected at the previous visit is still relevant and that the right people will be available. They will agree modifications to theme as necessary.
If the visit is the certificate renewal planning visit, the assessors will introduce the Review, Preview and Planning principles.
Holding the conversation with senior management
The assessor will…
- Introduce what LRQA will be doing differently on this visit and why.
- Establish what issues are important to the client and their stakeholders and select the visit theme.
- Identify where management systems can be used to drive performance improvement in respect of these issues.
- Listen to your views on the issues around the theme selected for this visit and take account of them in your audit.
- Discuss your future organisational objectives and identify opportunities for future visit themes.
The Visit Plan
With the theme agreed for this visit (or for future visits) the assessor will identify which departments, processes controls and systems relate to the theme and are assessable:
The theme + the people, processes, controls and systems to be audited = The Visit Plan
Future plan flexibility - Plans for future visits should be flexible. If the circumstances change, such as with a major customer complaint or regulatory breach, LRQA should be able to modify the theme of the visit, or introduce a new one, to address issues of current concern to our client and / or their stakeholders.
Performing the visit
When performing the visit the assessor will:
- Audit the theme through the areas as planned. The assessor may wish to follow trails which were not identified in the original plan if they are significant to the theme.
- Use the assessment of the areas to confirm that the system controls are in place and are being effectively used.
- Determine if you are using the management system to manage and / or improve the issues related to the identified theme.
- Report any weaknesses in the system or its effectiveness and suggest potential improvements for you to consider.
Reporting the visit - The Visit Report
The visit report left with you after the visit will:
- Contain a summary of the senior management discussions
- Track a sample of long term improvement projects
- Record the trails followed and evidence examined, along with the evaluation and conclusions
- Record any findings
- Record the overall conclusion on the effectiveness of the management system in relation to the theme and in meeting the requirements of the assessment standard
- Identify themes and areas for the next visit.
- Feedback to senior management
In the closing meeting the assessor will:
- Give an overview of his findings and state his conclusions.
- Highlight where the management system assists you in addressing the issues related to the theme where it is helping to drive improvement.
- They will describe any system weaknesses related to the theme and explain how these weaknesses may impact adversely on your business.