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Top Ten Tips - for Planning/Preparing for your Visit

11 November 2021
In order to get the most out of your NQA visit, it is wise to spend a few minutes in preparation to make sure that the visit goes smoothly on the day. Read our handy 10 tips!   

Here are our tip for planning and preparing for your visit:

1. Read the last report in preparation – this contains useful information regarding the Assessors impression of how things looked last year.

2. Ensure that any corrective actions required have been addressed and closed out – Your Assessor will ask to see evidence that previously raised nonconformities have been dealt with, so have the evidence ready.

3. Have you taken advantage of any opportunities for improvement (OFI’s) identified in the report? – these are raised to help you improve your systems and your business.

4. Is your management system fully up to date and reflecting changes that have happened in your business?  Make sure that any updates follow your document control procedure.

5. Have any changes occurred in the business – your Assessor will be interested in understanding what is different in the organization, so it is good to prepare a summary. 

6. Are you up to date with required events, eg auditing, the management review, calibration of measuring equipment, etc.? – it will pay to check.  A quality calendar is a great way to remember important events and make sure they happen in a timely manner.

7. You will find the plan for your forthcoming visit towards the end of the last report – make yourself familiar with what the Assessor is planning to do – can you foresee any problems with the plan? – if so contact the Assessor to discuss  arrangements.

8. Ensure staff are available to support the audit as required.  Circulate the plan to people that need to be available – particularly important in departments such as Human Resources, where the process and access to records is restricted to a small number of individuals – are these people available at the required time?

9. Is a customer site visit required?  Some visits require the processes to be witnessed on a customer site, eg installation, maintenance of equipment or the provision of a service.  If a site visit is to be required, the plan will say so.  Investigate the availability of suitable sites and secure your customer’s permission to be on site with your Assessor.  If no local sites are available, then it may be better to meet the Assessor on site at the start of the day and travel to your offices later – find out where your Assessor is travelling from and plan accordingly.  The Assessor may need a site induction in some cases, eg on a Construction site, so plan that time in too.

10. Don’t worry! Your Assessor is there to work with you and to help you get the most from your management systems. 

We are confident that if you are well prepared you will enjoy your NQA visit and get full value from the experience.

You can download this guide as a PDF here.