5 Truths About Gap Analysis and ISO Certification

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What is Gap Analysis:

Gap Analysis and ISO Certification: Gap analysis, as its name implies, is a process of determining the gap between your current management system and ISO standards Management System. All ISO Management Systems has defined clauses which differs from standard to standard.

If you find something existent in your current management system that does not completely or partially fulfills the requirements of ISO standard Management System or any of the clause(s) then that non-fulfilling point is an identified “Gap” in your system.

Since the word “Gap Analysis” is made of two words those are “Gap” and “Analysis” so Gap Analysis said combined indicates an exercise used to analyze the gaps between your current management system and ISO standard.

When it comes to gap analysis and ISO certification, before getting ISO certification, it is mandatory to fulfill all non-compliant points. Fulfilling all the non-compliant points is like bridging the gap between your current management system and ISO standard. Gap analysis tool is used to determine the readiness of the system to get through an ISO audit. It further helps to deeply analyze one’s system strengths and weaknesses leading to potential improvements in management system.

Why Gap Analysis and ISO Certification are Important?

Gap analysis holds significant position among all of the ISO certification tools as it lets you to not only catch loopholes in your current management system but to repair the potential damages that the organization may face in future. Further, Gap analysis will provide solutions to the complete and partial gaps in current management system.

Formation of Gap Analysis Team:

Gap analysis team should have mandatory and optional participants. Gap analysis team should have cross-functional members which means the team should have people from different departments like Production, Quality, Maintenance and other relevant departments according to the scope of Gap analysis. The Gap analysis team should be responsible to lead the Gap analysis exercise and will review the processes in accordance with ISO standards. A team leader must be selected among the Gap analysis team members so that he/she can be assigned tasks of scheduling meetings, prepare agendas and collect information to bring to the meeting table before and after the meeting.

The Gap analysis team will be responsible to look into each and every process existent in current management system and compare the current procedures of management system with the ISO standards’ requirements. If a need arises to redesign or modify an existent process in current management system in accordance with the ISO standards then Gap analysis team will ensure to help the auditee team to as much extent as possible. Once the redesigned or modified process gets approval, it will be introduced to the whole management team and training sessions along with refresher session with post evaluation tests will be done to bring the understanding level of all the employees to one page.

How to Perform Gap Analysis and ISO Certification 

Please review below step by step guide on performing gap analysis. Following are three major steps involved in Gap analysis exercise.

  • Design Gap Analysis Checklist
  • Scheduling the Gap Analysis
  • Conducting the Gap Analysis
  • Efficiently using the results of Gap Analysis : Gap Analysis Report

Let’s have a magnified view of each major step involved in gap analysis exercise.

Gap Analysis and ISO Certification: Scheduling the Gap Analysis

Have a glance on magnified details of Gap analysis scheduling steps that are necessary to be performed in similar sequence as mentioned below.

(a). Select, announce and communicate the one particular date on which Gap analysis exercise will be performed.

(b). An email or a newsletter can be circulated among employees indicating the names of team who will be analyzing gaps, when will gaps be analyzed and why the team is going to perform gap analysis.

(c). After determining gap analysis scope, it is suggested to divide auditable facility into small manageable areas (if necessary).

(d). Schedule time to audit each section of the facility and inform the Head of Departments accordingly.

(e). Design and distribute Gap analysis checklist to each auditor for efficient gap analysis execution.

Gap Analysis and ISO Certification: Conducting the Gap Analysis

(a). Follow the announced and communicated Gap Analysis schedule and review each area accordingly.

(b). Remember to take notes of fulfilling and non-fulfilling points and highlight any opportunity for improvement (OFI) in the current ISO management system.

(c). Don’t forget to indicate reference document number in your notes so that same information can be retrieved during gap assessment and gap closure.

(d). Always check the process coherence and review complete end to end process by understanding how one process is linked to other processes in the organization. Highlight any link breakage in smooth operation chain.

Designing Gap Analysis Report:

Make a summarize report consisting of all audit findings indicating all non-fulfilling gaps in the report. Define realistic timelines for gap closure with the agreement of auditee and auditor team.

A comprehensive gap analysis report must have:

(a). Current management system’s points that are fully complied with ISO standard’s Management System and are properly documented.

(b). Current management system’s points that are fully compliant to ISO standard’s Management System and must be properly documented.

(c). Current management system’s processes that are not compliant with the ISO standard’s Management System and must be redesigned accordingly.

(d). Current management system’s processes that are required by the ISO standard’s Management System to get in place efficiently and should be properly in documented form effectively with a definite review or revision date mentioned on document number.

Gap Analysis and ISO Certification: Top Five Things to Keep In Mind While Designing Gap Analysis Report:

In order to design a solidly effective Gap analysis report, once must cater below most compulsory top five things while finalizing Gap Analysis Report:

  • Gap analysis report should be precise and accurate. Make sure you do not add most obvious and un-necessary details.
  • Don’t forget to explain the current situation and the percentage compliance to defined ISO standards.
  • Slowly funnel down the root cause of identified gaps.
  • Make sure that identified gaps are easily explainable to the management i.e. it should not consist of vague terms.
  • Some immediate suggested steps should also be mentioned in the Gap Analysis report in order to bridge the non-compliant points on immediate basis.

One can share gap analysis report in an email that will be circulated to the auditee team right after a day of gap analysis exercise. It is a good practice to discuss all the identified gaps in the management meeting while explaining each point one by one to the auditees because there might be a chance that auditee team may require further clarification or detailed discussion on the identified gap or how to close that identified gap or which tool will be helpful or may be even more suitable to close the identified gap effectively so that the identified gap may not be found repeated in other Gap analysis exercises.

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