What Is A Gap Analysis?

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A gap analysis is a process that is used by companies to ascertain where they are performance wise compared with where they would expect to be, or against the requirements of their target standard. This allows them to not only determine if they are meeting expectations but helps to identify differences or ‘gaps’ between their current and target performance.

What Are The Benefits Of A Gap Analysis?

Whether you appoint an internal team or professional ISO consultancy services, a gap analysis is the first step on the path to successful compliance and ISO certification. Some of the many benefits of undertaking a gap analysis include;

  • Helps organisations to detect ‘gaps’ and provides recommendations on how to resolve them.
  • It will help to identify opportunities to improve existing management processes which can help drive performance.
  • Gives shareholders confidence of the organisation’s preparedness for successfully attaining the standard and certification.
  • Clearly details and highlights what is needed to achieve the chosen standard which allows you to accurately plan resources and tasks to ensure that you get it right first time.

Provides information that can be used to form accurate timelines, budgets and outlooks – proportional to the condition of your current management system when compared to the target standard.
• When it comes to implementation it acts as a useful baseline for measuring progress.

When Is The Best Time To Do A Gap Analysis?

Ideally a gap analysis is something that you would look to carry out at the beginning of an ISO project when you are considering implementing a new standard. When a gap analysis is one of the first steps in the process it provides a great starting point for organisations by comparing their existing policies, procedures and processes against the requirements of the target standard. This helps to clearly identify any gaps or shortcomings that can then be planned and actioned effectively to resolve the disparities and bring you closer in line with the target requirements.

Ideally the optimal time for a gap analysis to be performed would be;

– Once your business has carried out research on your target standard
– After the official decision has been made to become certified in that chosen standard
– Prior to filling out any paperwork relating to certification
– Before plans have been made to update the quality management system

A gap analysis can also be used when transitioning over to a new version of a standard or when migrating like with the new ISO 45001:2018. In these cases it helps to provide a clear indication of where everything currently is and where it needs to be in order to achieve a successful migration.

What Does A Gap Analysis Entail?

A gap analysis is formatted almost like a survey, often using checklists in order to help determine the differences or ‘gaps’ between an organisation’s current systems and the requirements of their intended standard.

Typically, a gap analysis would consist of two key phases – the initial analysis of existing information, documentation, process and procedures, followed by the gap analysis report which collates the findings.

Some of the key steps of a gap analysis might include;

Analysis

– A review of the current management systems compliance to the requirements of the chosen standard.
– Identify and document areas where there are ‘gaps’ and the system does not comply with the requirements for certification.

  • Discuss all identified failings / shortcomings / gaps and create a project plan including the corrective actions to resolve them.

Reporting

  • This will confirm the areas of the target standard which the organisation is successfully conforming to.
  • It will then clearly detail any and all areas that are not conforming to the standard.
  • The report will also include the foundations for a project plan to remedy any discrepancies in preparation for the initial audits required for certification.

Do You Need A Gap Analysis?

If your organisation is in need of a gap analysis and doesn’t have the time, resources or ability to do so internally then professional ISO consultants can carry it out for you.

At JR Consultants, our expert team of ISO specialists are on hand to deliver valuable, effective and beneficial gap analysis services that can help your business get a head start on your journey to ISO certification.

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