ISO audit is an audit of your organization’s compliance with one of the standards set forth by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). ISO is a non-governmental organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, which develops international standards and control frameworks that guide industry best practices in fields from information security to car-seat safety. ISO is dedicated to fostering continuous improvement, and reviews each standard every five years. An audit measures your company’s systems against any ISO standard; beyond compliance, a few standards can be ISO certified via third-party audit among them:

There are three types of ISO audits: internal audits (first-party audits), supplier audits (second-party audits), and external audits (third-party audits). Your choice of audit type will alter depending on your compliance and certification goals, your scope, scale, and budget. Remember that ISO certification can only be achieved by partnering with an external, third-party auditor that has the appropriate credentials to perform the audit.

Certification can be a useful tool to add credibility, by demonstrating that your product or service meets the expectations of your customers. For some industries, certification is a legal or contractual requirement.