“How to become ISO 9001 auditor?” sounds familiar because I used to ask around like you.
Fresh graduates from school, or
Who has a few years of work experience and is considering changing their career path.
If you are considering pursuing your career as an ISO auditor in Malaysia, keep reading…
In Malaysia, ISO is usually called the ISO 9001 Quality Management System. Because ISO 9001 is the most common management system certification by an organization.
Examples of other ISO management system certifications in Malaysia are,
- ISO 14001 Environmental Management System,
- ISO 45001 OSH Occupational Safety & Health Management System,
- ISO 13485 Quality Management System for Medical Devices,
- ISO 27001 Information Security Management System.
The ISO auditor career path is similar to all management systems.
Let’s get started!
ISO 9001-certified organizations will need to do 2 types of audits,
Internal Audit,also knowns as a first party audit
ISO internal audit is a self-check audit. Companies get their staff to do an internal audit. They will appoint a few staff from different departments to conduct an audit. Some people may think it’s extra work and not pay attention to it. It’s an opportunity to get additional skills to add to your resume.
Volunteer yourself to become an ISO internal auditor.
No work experience is required to appoint as an internal auditor.
External audit,also knowns as a third-party audit
An external audit is an ISO certification audit. Only the company that passed the audit can get the ISO 9001 certificate. External ISO auditors work with the ISO certification body. Their daily work is conducting ISO audits at the customer office/ factory.
A full-time ISO 9001 auditor is not for fresh graduates. It would help if you worked at the organization for a few years to earn work experience to meet the minimum entry requirements during the auditor job application in Malaysia.
Now, you know where you are with your work experience.
Let’s dive deeper into education, knowledge and skills to become an ISO 9001 internal auditor and external auditor—the pro and cons of it.
How to Become ISO 9001 Internal Auditor
There is no minimum academic requirement to be an ISO 9001 internal auditor. As long as you can read and write in Bahasa Malaysia or English will be ok. The internal auditor must ask questions during an audit and write report findings.
According to ISO 9001 requirements, an internal auditor must be competent. This means they must know the ISO 9001 clauses requirements, how to prepare for an audit, conduct an audit and prepare an audit report.
So, what can you do?
Usually, a company will consider staff with audit experience in an ex-company. Staff have attended ISO 9001 Internal Audit Training. It’s a plus point in your resume if you’ve ISO audit skills.
Alternative, HR or QMR will arrange their staff for ISO 9001 Internal Auditor Training to close the competency gap. Grab an opportunity if such training opportunities are available in your workplace!
2. Conduct ISO 9001 Internal Audit
Once you’ve attended the audit training, participate as much as possible in the organization’s internal audit activities to sharpen your ISO audit skills.
It may be the extra work in your daily job. However, you learn more about auditing. You got to learn other processes other than yours. Get to know more colleagues. Get to understand how auditors ask and check records. Get prepared when you are being audited.
Bonus tips: Becoming an ISO 9001 internal auditor is your first step if you choose a full-time ISO auditor as your career.
How to Become ISO 9001 External Auditor
To become a certification ISO auditor, you need to fulfil more requirements.
It would be best if you had at least a bachelor’s degree. It’s an entry qualification in most ISO auditor job applications in Malaysia.
2. Work Experience
You need at least 4 years of work-related experience and good knowledge of ISO 9001. Such as appointed as QMR or involved in QMS development, certification or maintenance and internal audit.
If for ISO 14001, work-related knowledge and experience will be in ISO 14001, EMR, EQA act and regulations and DOE competent person.
You’ll be an advantage if you have more than one ISO management system work-related experience. ISO 9001 & ISO 14001 are better than ISO 9001. Certification bodies prefer auditors with more competency profiles.
3. Knowledge & Skills
Attended ISO 9001 internal audit training is fundamental to being a certification body auditor.
The lead auditor course certificate is not a must. It’s a plus point during the job application.
Your industry work experience and multiple ISO management systems knowledge play an essential role in your auditor career path.
4. Own a car
ISO auditors must travel to the customer office/ factory to perform an audit. Usually, it takes 1 to 2 or 3 days for one customer. Then travel to another customer site to do an audit again.
So, as an ISO auditor, you need a car to travel from customer to customer according to your company arrangement. It can be today in Johor, tomorrow in Perak, and then in Penang.
Having a valid driving license and owning a car is one of the requirements in an auditor job application in Malaysia.
You must be willing to travel frequently. If you’re not, ISO auditor is not suitable for you.
5. Things to take note
Becoming an ISO auditor is fun. You can meet different people almost every day. And see how others develop ISO documents. Once the audit is complete, you have finished your work.
But, most of the time, you may conduct an audit alone at the customer site. No colleagues working together. You need to handle demanding clients or challenge situations yourself, if any.
Complete the audit report on time and restart the following audit activities the next day.
ISO certification auditor was in my career plan. But, it wasn’t turn up because I’m not good at driving and do not prefer to travel frequently.
Now, I enjoy conducting internal audits and helping companies do first-party audits.
Hoping this content is helpful for you in pursuing your career as an ISO auditor.
What you love, what you do!
I wish you all the best in your ISO career path!
I look forward to hearing from you in the comments.
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