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Our Process for Certifications & Audits

Man with pen - Our Process for Certifications & Audits​

At Orion, our auditing approach is not a one-way street.

We strive to set and establish mutual goals through an open and transparent process. As a standard practice, we have you meet the auditor in advance to make sure that they are a good fit for your organization. This encourages trust and open two-way communication at all stages of the audit. We also take any feedback very seriously and strive to make sure that your needs are 100% met. As such, not only are our audits extremely thorough, but they also add real value to your organization.

Whether your business needs to implement international standards or establish a plan for an entirely new set of standards for your industry or association, Orion is a fully qualified partner who can help you reach your goals.

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The Benefits of Certification

The deliverables of a successful audit include not only your certificate, but also a comprehensive audit report that details positive aspects, issues for resolution (non-conformances), and areas for improvement. But the benefits of certification are far-reaching. 
Our Process

Overview of the Certification Process

Orion is here to help your standards certifications and audits run smoothly so that you can get back to running your business. The following is a step-by-step overview of our process to help you understand our role in your certification.
Note: At Orion, we provide ongoing audit services on a one-year or two-year cycle, depending on the accreditation scheme, so that your standards certifications are always maintained. Please view the page for the specific standard you are interested in to determine your audit cycle.

1. Sign the Agreement

Prior to starting your certification journey, the application must be signed and returned to Orion along with any required deposit. 

2. Book Your Audit/ Team Selection

After we have reviewed and accepted your application, our team will reach out to discuss your needs and book a mutually agreeable time with you and your assigned auditor. 

3. Perform GAP Audit (optional)

Prior to your Stage 1 or Stage 2 audit, Orion can perform a gap audit to identify major gaps in meeting the requirements of the standard. This independent review will identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. Many companies prefer undergoing a preliminary gap audit to ensure they fully understand the standard’s requirements prior to their actual certification audit.

4. Perform Stage 1 Audit: Readiness Review

A Stage 1 audit is typically only needed for management system standards accredited under ISO 17021 such as ISO 9001 / 14001 etc..  

A Stage 1 audit is conducted to determine whether your organization is ready to move to Stage 2 Audit (Certification Audit) by confirming that:

5. Perform Stage 2 Audit: Certification Audit

This audit is conducted to ensure that the processes and the requirements of the standard have been effectively implemented.  To do this, our team reviews objective evidence by conducting interviews, observing practices and reviewing documentation such as relevant policies, procedures, work instructions, data and records.

The key deliverables from this stage include:

6. Certification Review / Certificate

The results from the Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits are reviewed to ensure that all Orion accreditation requirements have been met and a proper recommendation made. At this point, approval is given to either certify, seek clarification, or not certify.

Upon successful of our review, a certificate will be issued.

7. Perform Surveillance or Recertification Audit

Certification is based on a 3-year cycle. To maintain your certification, your organization must participate in ongoing audits. 

For ANAB-accredited standards, annual audits are required.  The first two are surveillance audits and only look at a portion of your system, whereas the third-year review (re-certification) is a more comprehensive audit and looks at your overall system for continued effectiveness.

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