What to expect in an ISO 9001:2015 Lead Auditor Certification Course

#1
Hi,

I have registered for the IRCA LA Certification course due in Aug, 2016. Would like to have inputs from experienced guys with regards to the preparation required and what to expect; What kind of approach is required and also reference materials to skim.

Please advise.

Thanks,
Shibs
 
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Sidney Vianna

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#2
Reading material should include ISO 9001:2015, ISO 9000:2015 and, if possible, ISO 19011, latest Edition.

One of the challenges is for you to "think as an auditor". Too many people attending such courses can't make the mental transition from implementer to auditor.

Good luck.
 
J

JoShmo

#3
Reading material should include ISO 9001:2015, ISO 9000:2015 and, if possible, ISO 19011, latest Edition.

One of the challenges is for you to "think as an auditor". Too many people attending such courses can't make the mental transition from implementer to auditor.

Good luck.
Maybe because they ARE implementers, and someone told them this is the course to go to for all things "ISO"...?:popcorn:
 

Marc

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#4
Reading material should include ISO 9001:2015, ISO 9000:2015 and, if possible, ISO 19011, latest Edition.

One of the challenges is for you to "think as an auditor". Too many people attending such courses can't make the mental transition from implementer to auditor.
It depends. I did quite few implementations of various standards over the years and my methodology was to make a plan and audit the results prior to registrar involvement. Then again, my first lead auditor course was back around 1994 so I did get auditing training.

As to the original poster - What to expect:

1. Four long days of work. Fifth day is about 1/2 day.
2. Evenings of work.
3. As Sidney posted, have the appropriate standards in your hands. My preference is paper copies, but I was raised on paper and I like to be able to mark up paper copies.
4. Be ready to actually "be" an auditor, as well as to be audited. It's part of the "game". Off hand I can only remember a few of the "tricks" they play (too long to write about here), but be ready for "unusual" situations. This is where some people fail because - Well, there is a certain amount of "personality" involved. E.g.: Some people are more easily "fooled" or "tricked" than others. A strong personality is sometimes very important.

When auditing, be aware of "tricks" as simple as "time consuming diversions" by auditees, especially upper management. Time management in auditing is very important.

The "tricks" and such that the course instructors play are for the better - They are intended to replicate real world experience. The instructors in the better courses have been around for a while and know the tricks auditees play.

Remember that many people who take lead auditor courses are really not ready (qualified) because:

1. They lack experience, and/or
2. They do not fully understand the standards the course is about. Having a copy of the applicable standards does not mean the person actually understands the standard(s) (sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph) and how they are inter-related.

Suggestions:
Get enough sleep and don't "over-medicate" in the mornings by drinking a lot of coffee.
Take time to think things through - Don't rush to conclusions or act in haste.

Maybe because they ARE implementers, and someone told them this is the course to go to for all things "ISO"...?:popcorn:
Not unusual. That is essentially why I did my first one back in 1994. No one told me to, I wanted a better understanding of auditing which I did not have a significant background in at the time - It helped me a lot. I highly recommend lead auditor courses to anyone implementing a standard. One can not, in my opinion, effectively implement a standard which one can not audit effectively.

Best of luck, Shibs!
 
Last edited:

Mike S.

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#5
Marc's summary is good. It is not a "fun" business trip by any means. I had a lot of standard familiarity and auditing experience but I spent every evening on homework and study for 3-4 hours, because, well, not passing was not an option for me.

My teacher said his pass rate was about 85%.

Definitely an advantage to take your own paper copies you can mark-up and post-it flag notes helped, too.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
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#6
I think about 85% Pass was about the norm, unless it's ISO 14001 and Randy the sadist is one of the instructors... :notme:

If you didn't pass you got a "Certificate of Attendance" and the training company typically allowed at least one "re-try" in a future course, but I can't remember any of the details. I think they charged a nominal fee or something.
 

Colin

Quite Involved in Discussions
#7
I presented hundreds of IRCA Registered LA courses in many different countries since 1989 until this year - I have now retired from running courses. In the early days we used to spend a long time going through the standard in any manner of different ways in order that we could help students to understand the meaning of the clauses.

This has changed, students are expected to come with good knowledge of the standard from the start. The tutor's role is to help students to interpret it in an audit situation.

My advice would be to work on navigating the standard, not remembering it. What I mean is that when you (as an auditor) come across a situation, you are able to narrow down the relevant clause (or at least the section) which is applicable to the situation.

The 2 main reasons that students don't pass are because they run out of time (because they spend too long searching the standard or because they don't answer the question asked - it is usually similar but the marking scheme is quite strict.

Even though it is a tough week, it should be enjoyable. The majority of evening work was self imposed on my courses. it is unfair to set lots of evening work and then expect peak performance during the course.
 

SATHYABALARAMAN

Involved In Discussions
#8
Expectations from Lead auditor course:

1) Examples of evidences against each clause
2) Clause explanation in simple language

The lead tutor will have vast experience in auditing various sectors, so the examples shared will be useful.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#9
Depending on the instructor you can expect to be bored by a "slide reader" who may or may not have any real or relevant experience, or you may luck out and get an instructor that can provide illustration from experience of the types of evidence and situations that can present themselves during the audit process.

From my experience in the training arena (just a wee bit) a vast majority of folks taking these Lead Auditor courses really have no need to do so and they're wasting both time & money in doing so...(That probably "P'd" some folks off):lol:
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#10
My instructor was good, he had about 800 3rd party audits under his belt, and constantly spoke of providing value for the auditee. :agree1:

My boss wanted to be able to say that his lead auditor had been through the course -- he said our registrar expected it. I dunno about that.

In any event, it was painful but I did learn a few things that made me a better auditor, and it did give me a bit more credibility in-house. And I had a 3rd party auditor comment that he was very impressed by my audit reports.
 
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