Within ISO 20121 there is a clause: Clause 9.3 Internal Audit which requires you to undertake an internal audit.
Undertaking an internal audit offers an opportunity to self-assess the conformity of your management system to the requirements of ISO 20121. It works as a gap-analysis, identifying the missing components. Upon successful completion of an internal audit, you will be able to state conformity to the standard.
But before you’re ready to undertake an audit, there are some important steps you need to take, such as owning a copy of the standard, defining the scope or boundary of the system and actually implementing your management system!
Here are the steps in summary:
1. Buy a Copy of the Standard
If you are going to assess your conformity to the standard, you had best have a copy of the standard at hand! You can buy a copy of the standard through your national standards body. We recommend you just download the pdf. Purchase the standard. The standard is copyright and as such you are not permitted to share your version of the standard with those outside of your organisation. Read the copyright notice on your copy of the standard.
2. Read the Standard & Annex Guidance
Ensure you read all the clauses in the standard and all the explanatory guidance in the annexes. Ensure you understand what is involved in implementing the standard before you try to audit it! The SEMS Tool covers all aspects of the standard however, so you can be assured if you successfully complete the SEMS Tool you will also meet the requirements of the standard and our Internal Audit Checklist will help you to do this.
3. Define the Scope
Ensure you understand what is included and what is excluded in the management system. If you have a multi-venue or multi-site event are all locations included? If you are an event organizing company that does several types of events, is this just for a single type of event or will it encompass all event types? Venues can implement the standard for their event activities, so where your control stops and clients using the venue starts, should be clearly described.
4. Sample Event or Activities
The conformity assessment must be framed around an example of typical organization event activities. So if you do more than one event, choose an event against which to assess the implementation of your procedures and processes.
5. Create and Implement the Management System
This is where you create, take action and document all the required elements of the management system. We have developed downloadable document templates you can use as-is or as inspiration.
Once you’ve completed the pre-audit steps you’ll be ready to:
1. Map Conformity Against Requirements
Use the Internal Audit Tool to crosscheck your processes, procedures, systems and documentation address each of the requirements of the standard.
2. Make Conformity Claims or Progress to External Auditing
Use the correct language to communicate publicly your First Party conformity to ISO 20121. You should conduct internal audits annually. If you choose to undergo external auditing, apply for Second or Third party auditing.