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How to Recover from a Failed ISO 9001 Audit

Recovering from a failed ISO audit may seem like a daunting process, but if nonconformances arise from audit findings, your organization will be granted a period of time to make improvements. A major non-conformance identifies a serious break-down in the management system or an element of the standard which has not been satisfied. It is fairly uncommon for registrars to fail an organization, but if your organization is at threat of losing certification, the9000store can help you recover.

Common Reasons for a Failed Audit

There are a few more common reasons for a failed audit. Although there are numerous ways that an organization can have major nonconformances, here are some of the more common ones encountered.

Company Restructure – Restructuring a company can cause mix-ups, shifts in responsibilities and can change the scope of certification.

Loss of Key Personnel – Change in personnel can affect many parts of an organization. In some instances, the loss of a single person with knowledge or skills required to operate the ISO management system can greatly impede on the ability to become certified or not. In this situation, it can be beneficial to hire a consultant to help you make sure you are prepared for the registrar.

Changes to the Standard – Approximately every 7 years, ISO standards are replaced with updated versions.  For example ISO 9001:2008 was replaced by ISO 9001:2015. When changes occur, organizations have three years to meet the new requirements. Sometimes companies have difficulty meeting new requirements without outside help.

It is important to remember that registrars are not trying to fail your organization. They are looking to pass you but it is imperative that your organization does not have any major nonconformances and meets the ISO 9001 requirements. Many external audits report on average 4-6 minor non conformities. Usually, when minor nonconformities are found you will have ample time to fix them before the registrar will offer certification.

Preventing Failed ISO Audits

Preventing failed audits is simple as long as you follow the recommended certification process. The9000store has many products that will help your organization prepare for a certification audit (or recover from a nonconformance by being better prepared for the registar’s return):


Our All-in-One Certification Package is a proven, efficient system. It gives you all you need to prepare for registration – in one simple to use package.

Buy the Standard

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Customer Review:

"I have just passed my ISO-9001 Audit with zero non-conformances for the second year in a row using your ISO products to write my entire QMS. Thank you for producing documents of this quality"

Bettye Patrick

United Plating, Inc