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Certification client’s expectations on the content of audit reports

A certification report may be looked at in various ways, but it is primarily the visible product from an audit.
During the years the report format and form has changed in most certification bodies. So also for Nemko.
When we started up as NCS in 1991 the report was extensive and every chapter in the standards at that time (ISO 9000 series) was commented on in the report.
Based on input from our clients we at one point introduced a summary and over the years we experienced that, the clients focus on the summary, the non-conformities, and other observations. This lead us to drop the extensive reports and today we deliver reports on mainly one page with additional pages for non-conformities, observations, overview of documentation checked and participants. In addition, there is an annex with the three years audit plan.
There are various practices among certification bodies on how they deliver audit reports. For our part, we always have a central check of each report, irrespectively of the type of audit. This secures that the reporting quality is relatively stable and consistent. We have also defined that a certification report shall be in the hands of the audited organization not more than 7 working days after the last audit day.
For Nemko being a small certification body, this is achievable, but for larger certification bodies this may be more difficult.
We feel that the way we do this is sufficient and is covering the formal requirements.
One issue however, is that we receive relatively few comments on the reports. It might be of interest to hear views on this especially from clients.

Paal Eddie

NEMKO Delegate to IQNet

Gaustadalleen 30
P.O. Box 73 Blindern
0314 Oslo