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                                                         Audit Failure Recovery

If you’ve failed an ISO audit, it’s not too late to achieve accreditation or retain your certification.

Compassrose provide audit failure support for every stage of the process.




Audits are complex in many ways. Not only do they require a lot of preparation, including paperwork or electronic documents and practical implementation, but the audit itself will assess a very large number of different requirements and create a comprehensive record of findings. This means the how and why of audit failure will vary greatly depending on your company.

However, having a grasp of the process will help you protect against a failed audit as well as recover more easily.




An internal audit is usually undertaken by people within your organisation who have a firm grasp of the requirements of your ISO. Alternatively, consultants, such as those at Compassrose, can issue an internal audit. If you’re looking to have an internal assessment, professional consultants are often the best choice as they have the experience and expertise to undergo a thorough and accurate audit, decreasing the chances of failure from an external auditor in the future.

If an internal audit uncovers nonconformities in your systems, it’s not a simple case of failing or passing. Internal assessments aren’t there to pass or fail your organisation; rather, their purpose is to reveal the areas which you still need to improve in order to maintain or reach conformity to your ISO. Simply undergoing an internal audit means you’ve done well, whether it’s an initial audit or a periodic assessment: you’ve taken the necessary steps to improve your company. You are now able to implement strategies to fix the nonconformities.

External audits are similar, but with some important distinctions -- these may vary according to whether you’ve undergone an initial audit or a periodic audit to maintain or transition into a newer version of your current ISO certification. The key things to remember are that the external registrar organisations each have their own processes. These determine how long you have to respond to the nonconformities they have raised.




If it’s an initial audit, there’ll be a set time you have in order to address the shortcomings that resulted in the audit failure.

This will be made clear to you by your auditor. If you manage to address these in the set time, then you can still be recommended for certification and achieve accreditation.

This is where Compassrose come in. We help you to understand the nonconformities and what exactly you need to do in order to achieve certification.




Talk to an expert. An audit failure is not a full stop that prevents certification, but rather, an opportunity to further develop and improve your organisation.

If you’ve failed an external ISO audit, it’s important that you get in touch with someone who can help you understand the changes that need to be made, and how to go about implementing them, before your recovery time expires. If an internal audit has revealed major or minor non conformities,

Compassrose can work with you to create an action plan that prepares you for the next step: either achieving ISO certification, maintaining it or transitioning into a newer version, such as the ISO 9001:2015.

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