Seeking Certification? CSIA-approved Auditors are Here to Help

Businesses looking for CSIA certification or any other internationally recognized standard know they must jump through a variety of hoops and withstand a great deal of trepidation before becoming certified. To get through this process, some organizations contact the auditing agency for guidance and ask questions regarding the process.

08/01/2009


Sidebars:
CSIA Auditors

Businesses looking for CSIA certification or any other internationally recognized standard know they must jump through a variety of hoops and withstand a great deal of trepidation before becoming certified. To get through this process, some organizations contact the auditing agency for guidance and ask questions regarding the process. Other organizations, however, prefer to go it alone and take their chances.

The two independent CSIA-authorized auditors, ASR (American Systems Registrar) and Exotek LLC encourage you to contact them prior to going through the actual audit. They’re available to assist you, and can help prepare you before, during and after the audit. Extensive use of this support has been found to significantly help those seeking certification.

When auditors conduct a CSIA certification audit, the integrator should be prepared for an intensive, day-long review of all aspects of your business—general management, strategic planning, human resources, project management and methodologies, project development life cycles, technical management and infrastructure support activities, quality assurance processes, finance, and business development. The agenda for the day will follow the Audit Report, based on the CSIA Best Practices & Benchmarks document.

To help avoid the things you should not do if you are seeking certification, ASR and Exotek have identified three things that often indicate a high probability of not passing the first time:

  1. Lack of top management support and direction;

  2. Failure to perform self audits; and

  3. Misinterpretation of requirements

Following are some suggestions from ASR and Exotek experts to help you prepare properly for the audit process:

  • Get support systems in place;

  • Review the CSIA Best Practices & Benchmarks document, using the blank Audit Report as a guide to requirements for certification;

  • Let auditors know you are pursuing an audit;

  • Ask the auditors for ideas;

  • Get a mentor (another CSIA-certified Member) to provide valuable insights into the process;

  • Talk with peers;

  • Make a plan;

  • Assign a team;

  • Do a pre-audit evaluation;

  • Do a self audit;

  • Set up audit prep activities as a project;

  • Prioritize items;

  • Set budget and schedule;

  • Track and control progress;

  • Be sure there is visible management/owner support;

  • Take any corrective actions necessary to successfully pass the audit;

  • Collect any documented evidence required as indicated on the Audit Report; and

  • Ensure someone with signing authority as well as all personnel who will support the audit are present on audit day.

After the audit has been completed, the auditors alert CSIA only if you pass. If you pass, you will be notified by CSIA that you have achieved certification status. A plaque and certificate are sent to you from the CSIA office. If you do not pass, the results are known only to you and the auditor. The auditor determines if a complete re-audit is required or if a partial re-audit can be done remotely.

Contact a CSIA-approved auditor for a current copy of the blank Audit Report and to acquire information on their fees and auditing process. Let them help you through the process of certification. It’s worth it.



CSIA Auditors

American Systems Registrar

(ASR), Tom Droog

888-891-9002

tom@arsworldwide.com

Exotek

Brian Mullen

519-634-1101

bmullen@exotek.com or

Don Roberts

519-886-6400

donroberts@exotek.com

CSIA Auditors

American Systems Registrar

(ASR), Tom Droog

888-891-9002

tom@arsworldwide.com

Exotek

Brian Mullen

519-634-1101

bmullen@exotek.com or

Don Roberts

519-886-6400

donroberts@exotek.com