Unlocking the Mystery: A Comprehensive Guide to Different Types of ISO Audit Surveillance

If you are a business owner, you may have heard the term ‘ISO audits’ thrown around in conversation with your peers. But, what exactly are these audits, and why are they so important? ISO audits are a set of international standards that businesses adhere to in order to ensure that they meet certain quality and environmental management requirements. It is an external audit that investigates whether a company is meeting the set standards.

One type of ISO audit is surveillance audits. These audits take place after a company achieves initial certification and is designed to ensure that the company continues to meet the set standards. Businesses need to undertake these audits to maintain their ISO certification, and they also have the added benefit of improving company performance.

In other words, these audits are crucial to ensure that a company continues to maintain its high standards long after it has achieved certification. In this blog post, we will be taking a deeper look at the types of ISO audits, with a particular focus on surveillance audits. We will explore what surveillance audits entail, the benefits they provide to companies, and how they differ from other types of audits.

So, if you’re a business owner who is interested in achieving ISO certification, you won’t want to miss this post!


When it comes to ISO audits, there are various types of surveillance audits that a company may undergo. One type is called a “renewal audit” or “recertification audit,” which involves a thorough review of the company’s management system to ensure it continues to meet ISO standards. Another type is a “follow-up audit,” which checks to see if any recommendations from a previous audit have been implemented.

“Special audits” are conducted to address specific concerns, such as a change in a product or service. Lastly, a “surprise audit” can occur at any time, keeping companies accountable. It’s important for businesses to prepare for these audits by reviewing documentation, training employees, and ensuring compliance with ISO standards.

By doing so, they can confidently undergo an audit and maintain their certification, while also improving overall processes and operations.

1. Document Review

Document review is an essential step in the legal industry, yet it is often underestimated. Proper document review requires precision, focus, and attention to detail. Before starting the review, it is crucial to prepare by developing a plan of action.

A plan that outlines the specific objectives and scope of work will help to streamline the review process and ensure that nothing is overlooked. This plan should include identifying key players, setting a timeline, and outlining any potential issues that may arise. Additionally, it is important to choose the right team to conduct the review.

The team should consist of individuals with specific skills and expertise that match the specific requirements of the review. By adequately preparing for document review, you can improve efficiency, save time, and reduce costs. Remember, taking the time to properly prepare is the key to ensuring that the review process goes smoothly and yields the desired results.

types of iso audits surveillance

2. Facility Tour

When preparing for a facility tour, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First and foremost, make sure you understand what the purpose of the tour is and what you hope to gain from it. Are you touring a potential new workplace? Are you checking out a new fitness gym? Whatever the reason, knowing what you want to get out of the visit will help you stay focused and ensure you don’t miss anything important.

Secondly, do a little bit of research on the facility ahead of time. This will help you ask more informed questions and make the most out of your visit. Look up their website, social media pages, and any reviews or articles about the location.

Finally, dress appropriately for the occasion. This doesn’t mean you need to wear a suit and tie to tour a new gym, but if you’re visiting a professional workplace, make sure you dress professionally as well. By following these simple steps, you’ll be better prepared to make the most out of your facility tour and come away with all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Remember to stay relaxed and have fun, too!

3. Audit Team Interview

Preparation is key for a successful audit team interview. It is important to understand the goals and objectives of the audit, as well as the scope of the audit. This will help to determine the types of questions that need to be asked during the interview.

Additionally, it is important to identify the key stakeholders who will be interviewed, and to prepare a list of questions specific to their role. This will ensure that the interview is focused and productive. It may also be helpful to conduct research on the organization, including their industry, competitors, and any recent news or developments.

By being well-prepared, the audit team can conduct a thorough and effective interview, gathering the information needed to complete a successful audit.

ISO 9001 Audit Surveillance Types

When it comes to ISO 9001 audits, there are a few different types of surveillance that may take place. These include first-party audits, which are carried out by the organization being audited themselves. There are also second-party audits, where an external party such as a customer or supplier conducts the audit.

Finally, there are third-party audits, which are performed by an independent certification body. Each type of surveillance has its own benefits and drawbacks, and the choice of which to utilize may depend on various factors such as the size of the organization, the level of risk involved, and the desired level of rigor. Regardless of which type is used, it’s important that the audit is approached systematically and thoroughly, with the aim of ensuring that the organization is adhering to the ISO 9001 standard and continuously improving its processes.

1. First-Party

When it comes to conducting an ISO 9001 audit, there are different types of surveillance that can be used. One of these types is known as first-party surveillance. This involves an internal audit where members of the organization being audited evaluate their own operations and activities.

Essentially, the organization monitors its own compliance with ISO 9001 standards. This type of surveillance can be useful for identifying areas where improvements can be made and ensuring that the organization is consistently meeting its obligations. It can also be a valuable tool for identifying gaps in knowledge or understanding among staff members, and for addressing these issues in a timely manner.

Ultimately, first-party surveillance can help to promote continuous improvement and ensure that the organization is operating at the highest level of quality.

2. Second-Party

When it comes to ISO 9001 audit surveillance types, second-party audits are an important aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked. This type of audit involves a customer or a supplier evaluating a vendor or a subcontractor’s quality management system. Essentially, it’s a way for companies involved in a supply chain to ensure that their partners are meeting the necessary standards and requirements.

This type of audit can be especially useful for companies that work with suppliers or vendors in different geographical locations or have limited resources for conducting audits on their own. By outsourcing the auditing process to a trusted customer or supplier, companies can ensure that their partners are meeting expectations and maintaining high standards of quality. Second-party audits provide an added layer of assurance that can help enhance a company’s overall supply chain management.

3. Third-Party

ISO 9001 audit surveillance can be conducted in different ways, and third-party audits are one of them. These audits are performed by an external auditor or certification body instead of the company’s internal auditors. In a third-party audit, the auditor evaluates the organization’s quality management system (QMS) against the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard.

The objective is to determine if the organization’s QMS meets the standard’s requirements and is being effectively implemented. Third-party audits are an essential component of the ISO 9001 certification process, as they provide an independent assessment of an organization’s QMS. They help identify areas where improvements can be made, providing valuable feedback to the organization.

Companies that pass third-party audits receive ISO 9001 certification, demonstrating their commitment to quality and continuous improvement. By choosing third-party audits, companies can ensure a fair and unbiased assessment of their QMS, leading to increased customer confidence and satisfaction.

ISO 14001 Audit Surveillance Types

When it comes to ISO 14001 audits, there are three types of surveillance that can be conducted: routine, for-cause, and follow-up. Routine surveillance audits are pre-planned assessments that occur on a regular basis, and their purpose is to ensure that an organization is maintaining compliance with the standard. On the other hand, for-cause audits occur when there is a specific issue or problem that requires an investigation.

These audits are typically conducted at short notice, and they focus on the specific area of concern. Finally, follow-up audits are conducted after a non-conformity has been identified to ensure that the corrective actions taken have been effective. By conducting these types of surveillance audits, organizations can ensure that their environmental management system is functioning effectively and continuously improving to meet the standard’s requirements.

1. Compliance Audit

ISO 14001 audit surveillance types vary depending on the scope and requirements of the audit. One type of audit commonly used is the compliance audit, which ensures that an organization is meeting the legal, regulatory, and industry standards related to environmental management practices. Compliance audits typically involve a review of an organization’s policies, procedures, and records to identify any potential non-compliance issues.

These audits are critical in identifying any areas of weakness and risk management that need attention. Another type of audit is the surveillance audit, which is conducted to monitor an organization’s ongoing compliance with ISO 14001 standards. The surveillance audit assesses an organization’s environmental management system to ensure that it remains effective and continuously improves.

It helps organizations identify opportunities for improvement and ensure that they remain in compliance with environmental standards. Overall, selecting the right audit surveillance type is crucial to developing an effective environmental management system that complies with regulations and industry standards while continually improving its environmental performance.

2. EMS Audit

When it comes to ISO 14001 audits, there are two main types of surveillance that are conducted: internal and external. An internal audit is performed by someone within the organization, such as an environmental manager, and is focused on ensuring that the EMS is being properly maintained and adhered to. This type of audit can help identify any areas where there may be weaknesses in the system or where improvements can be made.

An external audit, on the other hand, is performed by an outside auditing firm and is focused on verifying that the EMS is in compliance with the ISO 14001 standard. This type of audit can be more rigorous, as the auditor will be looking for evidence that the organization is operating in a manner that is consistent with the standard. Overall, both types of audits are important for maintaining the integrity of the EMS and ensuring that environmental performance is being constantly improved.

So, whether you’re planning an internal or external audit, make sure you have a clear understanding of the requirements and are prepared to demonstrate your compliance.

ISO 27001 Audit Surveillance Types

ISO 27001 is an international standard for information security management. It outlines a systematic approach to managing sensitive information in order to keep it secure. One important aspect of maintaining ISO 27001 compliance is undergoing regular audits, which assess whether a company is following the standard’s requirements.

There are two main types of ISO 27001 audits: internal audits and external audits. Internal audits are conducted by a company’s own employees and are used to identify areas where they may be falling short of the standard’s requirements. External audits, on the other hand, are conducted by an independent third-party auditor and provide an objective assessment of a company’s compliance with the standard.

Both types of audits are essential for maintaining ISO 27001 compliance and ensuring that sensitive information is kept secure.

1. Gap Analysis

Gap analysis is an essential part of the ISO 27001 audit surveillance process. It involves identifying the gaps between an organization’s current security practices and the requirements set forth by the ISO 27001 standard. A gap analysis is typically conducted as part of the initial audit and can be performed internally or by an external auditor.

It provides valuable insights into an organization’s security posture and helps to identify areas that need improvement. By identifying gaps, an organization can take the necessary steps to address them and ensure compliance with the standard. It is important to note that a gap analysis is not a one-time activity but needs to be conducted regularly to ensure ongoing compliance.

By continuously monitoring and addressing gaps, an organization can maintain a robust security posture and protect against cyber threats.

2. Internal Audit

ISO 27001 audit surveillance types refer to the various forms of internal audits that organizations can carry out to ensure that their information security management system (ISMS) aligns with the ISO 27001 standards. There are two main types of audit surveillance, namely ongoing and periodic. Ongoing audits involve continuous monitoring of the ISMS to ensure that processes and controls function as intended.

Ongoing audit surveillance involves the use of automated tools that regularly assess the system’s status and notify the organization of any irregularities. On the other hand, periodic audits involve a comprehensive review of the ISMS against the ISO 27001 standard by an independent auditor who provides a report on the level of conformity of the ISMS. Regardless of the type of audit surveillance adopted, it is important that organizations carry out regular internal audits to maintain the effectiveness and efficiency of their ISMS.


In conclusion, conducting different types of iso audits surveillance is like having a personal trainer for your company’s quality management system. Just as a trainer helps you identify and address areas where you need improvement to achieve your fitness goals, iso audits help a company evaluate its systems and processes to maintain certification and continuously improve. From the initial certification audit to the ongoing surveillance audits, each type of iso audit serves a unique purpose, creating a comprehensive approach to quality management that is sure to keep any organization on track and moving forward.


What is a surveillance audit in ISO certification?
A surveillance audit is a type of audit conducted by an accredited certification body to monitor whether a certified organization continues to comply with the ISO standards after the initial certification audit.

What is the difference between a surveillance audit and a re-certification audit?
A surveillance audit is conducted annually or biannually, while a re-certification audit is conducted every three years. A surveillance audit is focused on monitoring the organization’s compliance with the ISO standards, while a re-certification audit is focused on assessing whether the organization continues to meet the criteria for certification.

What is a special audit in ISO certification?
A special audit is conducted by a certification body in response to a specific request from an organization or a regulator, to investigate a particular issue related to the organization’s compliance with the ISO standards.

What is an internal audit in ISO certification?
An internal audit is conducted by the certified organization’s own personnel to monitor its compliance with the ISO standards and to identify areas for improvement. The internal audit reports are reviewed by the certification body during the surveillance audits.