Conformity assessments are performed by trained and competent assessors. The assessment team is led by the lead assessor.
Lead assessors must have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform assessments effectively and efficiently. The lead assessor must be familiar with the accreditation criteria, which includes applicable standard requirements, accreditation body requirements, and statutory and regulatory requirements. The lead assessor must be able to interpret and apply those requirements to the management and technical operations of the conformity assessment body.
Attributes of Assessors
Lead assessors interact with individuals from all levels of the conformity assessment body and accreditation body. They must exhibit professional behavior during the performance of assessment activities. ISO 19011:2018 contains a list of attributes that assessors must possess, which are:
- Act with fortitude
- Open to improvement
- Culturally sensitive
Soft Skills of Lead Assessors
Additionally, lead assessors must possess specific soft skills, such as:
- Work ethic
- Conflict resolution
- Effective communication
- Time management
- Critical thinking
Training and Skills Make a Competent Lead Assessor
Ultimately, the lead assessor is fully responsible for the performance and completion of an assigned assessment. Assessor attributes, soft skills, knowledge, and skills are combined to develop an assessor into a lead assessor.
Obtaining the necessary knowledge and skills is critical to fulfill this responsibility. Training focused on the necessary competence required to perform an assessment, such as note-taking, interviewing and listening, and knowledge of risk-based assessment principles can demonstrate that the lead assessor has the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively lead an assessment team in performing an assessment.
To help develop the necessary competencies needed for lead assessors, ANAB offers ISO/IEC 17025 Lead Assessor Training and Lead Assessor Intensive Training. If you are interested in serving on ANAB assessment teams for the forensic business unit, please see Forensic Technical Assessor Training.