What is a Gap Analysis?
A Gap Analysis is a strategic planning tool to help you understand where you are, where you want to be and how you’re going to get there.
One of the first steps in your Management System transition or implementation project is to compare your current Management System to the requirements of the standard. This is most commonly called a Gap Analysis; it is sometimes referred to as a Pre-Audit.
A gap analysis is mainly done at the beginning of the certification journey to assess what is currently in place against the set of requirements for which every standard is to be implemented. The standard has specific requirements that have to be met; these are detailed in various clauses. If your current system does not meet the requirements then there is a gap that must be addressed before an you can achieve successful certification.
This process can also be used when an organization has to transition to a new version of a standard or in the case of the new ISO 45001:2018 – migrating. It will provide an indication of where you are now and where you need to be to have a successful migration.
The Most Common Questions Are:
- How long will it take to achieve certification?
- How difficult is it?
- What’s involved?
- How much will it cost?
The difficulty sometimes is that every business or organization is different; different sectors, different sizes, different complexities, different risks – so there is no standard answer to these questions.
An organization will also want to know where they are on their journey. Although they have an understanding of their current position and know what they want to achieve; they need to implement a plan of action to get where they need to be. The Gap Analysis is a tool that identifies the gaps and therefore enables you to put together an action plan to gain successful certification. It can also provide a reality check as to where you are in the process – helping with planning resources and timeframes.
NQA can conduct a Gap Analysis to identify any areas of weakness prior to formal assessment. NQA auditors will carry out a Gap Analysis audit to compare the Management System that is in place with the standard requirements.
What is Involved in a Gap Analysis?
The Assessor will:
- Review the compliance of your management system to the requirements of the appropriate standard
- Document where your system complies / does not comply with the certification requirements
- Discuss what needs to be considered in the project plan and agree any corrective actions
A report will be raised:
- Confirming the areas of the standard that your organization is currently conforming
- Identifying any areas that are not conforming
- Provide the foundation for a project plan
This report will enable your business or organization to implement a plan to remedy these gaps in readiness for the mandatory initial audits for certification.