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The 2-Stage Registration Process

Many ISO Standards require a two stage registration process.

Stage 1 (Readiness Review) Audit:

The readiness review is an on-site audit that includes a comprehensive review of documentation and key management processes to ensure their adherence to the requirements.


This activity is optional and is not required to achieve certification, however, it provides several benefits including identification of system gaps, familiarity with the auditor and auditing process.

‘Stage 1’ is an on-site review. It is more than a desk audit, yet it is not a ‘pre-assessment’.

There are a number of purposes for the Stage 1 Audit:
  • To review the system and its documentation (normally for compliance with the ruling standard)
  • Ensure the scope is applicable and accurate
  • Determine the state of readiness of the organization for the registration audit (the so-called ‘Stage 2’)
  • Confirm/plan the Stage 2 audit arrangements (schedule, personnel, timing, etc.)
  • Ensuring the existence of any other sites which may have been omitted

There is no real ‘auditing’ done, but confirmation of what was in the original application with the registrar as accurate.

The pre-assessment is a flexible approach to having the system ‘tested’ to see if it has any obvious weaknesses which may only be apparent to the Certification Body (“CB”) auditor (some folks don’t get outside help) or to get ‘calibrated’ with the approach of the CB auditor etc.

Certification Procedure

In a case of your interest for certification of your management system, the procedure is very simple:

  • Fill in Request for offer
  • Following the filled Request for offer, we shall prepare the proposal of application for certification (offer)
  • After acceptation (signing) of offer by you, we shall prepare proposal of Certification Contract
  • After Certification Contract signing by both contractual parties, contract becomes valid and binding – Certification Contract is signed for the period of 3 years (validity of Certificate is also 3 years)
  • During 3 years of contract validity we shall perform 1 certification audit and 2 surveillance audits (see below)

From the certification body point of view, the management systems certification process has the following stages:

  • Preparation stage
  • Certification audit – 1. stage
  • Certification audit – 2. stage
  • Award of the certificate

Preparation stage

Preparation stage is the stage comprising the audit preparation. Certification Director shall delegate the lead auditor, auditor, and technical expert. The audit team is responsible for superior audit execution.

Certification audit – 1. Stage
1. stage is performed to obtain sufficient information and verification that the basic requirements for the proper function of management system were applied. Lead auditor verifies the competency of documentation concerning the requirements of relevant standards and regulations.

Certification audit – 2. stage
2.stage certification audit shall take place at the site of the client and individual workstations, which are audit subjects according to the client’s requirements, specified in the contract. A process of audit performance contains these stages:

  • Preparation (program) – lead auditor shall elaborate the program with the time schedule and requirements for the participation of individual competent people
  • Realization – the process of audit performance
  • Closing – at the closing meeting with the certification organization management representatives audit team shall evaluate the audit process and shall determine the dates for nonconformities elimination.
  • Evaluation – output document from the certification audit is certification audit report. The report is elaborated by the lead auditor, who is responsible also for its completeness and precision. The lead auditor is obligatory to incorporate all comments from auditors and technical experts, who participated in the audit, to the report, after the personal consulting.
  • Award of the certificate

If the Certification Body does not discover any serious facts which would contradict lead auditor findings stated in the certification audit report and proposal of lead auditor for certificate awarding, Director shall issue the consistent statement to the lead auditor’s statement and shall award the certificate.

Surveillance audits

The certification body performs surveillance audits once per year during the issued certificate validity. Surveillance audits are performed and documented analogical way like certification audit. The lead auditor shall elaborate the surveillance audit report within 14 days from the realization of surveillance audit.

Transfer of accredited certification

Transfer of accredited certification means appreciation of existing and valid management system certificate awarded by other accredited certification body for the purposes of certificate award by QSCert.

Initial Certification Audit
The assessment process for achieving certification consists of a two-stage Initial Certification Audit as follows:

Stage 1 – The purpose of this visit is to confirm the readiness of the organization for a full assessment. The assessor will:

  • Confirm that the quality manual conforms to the requirements of ISO 9001:2008
  • Confirm its implementation status
  • Confirm the scope of certification
  • Check legislative compliance
  • Produce a report that identifies any non-compliance or potential for non-compliance and agree to a corrective action plan if required.
  • Produce an assessment plan and confirm a date for the Stage 2 assessment visit.

Stage 2 – The purpose of this visit is to confirm that the quality management system fully conforms to the requirements of ISO 9001:2008 in practice. The assessor will:

Undertake sample audits of the processes and activities defined in the scope of assessment, document how the system complies with the standard, report any non-compliances or potential for non-compliance, produce a surveillance plan and confirm a date for the first surveillance visit. If the assessor identifies any major non-conformance, the organization cannot be certified until corrective action is taken and verified.

Select a Certification body / the Registrar. Do this early, within the first few months into your implementation project and budget to cover the costs. Registrar makes use of the AS9101-Rev D standard for Quality Management Systems Audit Requirements.

Registrar performs Stage 1 Readiness audit, including a documentation review, after your procedures are finalized and approved. Registrar performs Stage 2 Registration audit, approximately 3 months after you have used your QMS and generated sufficient records to prove that you are in compliance.

Address non-conformances, if any, found during the audit.
Receive Quality Management System Certificate.
CELEBRATE your AS9100C QMS Accomplishment.

The AS9100 QMS Registration / Certification Process is one of the tasks that organizations take on the journey to a recognized quality management system. This important step is included in the AS9100C Workbook that details a series of tasks associated with the preparation, development, implementation and registration phases for the quality project. Get more information on the workbook Task 1 through Task 28.