The ISO 27001 Stage 1 Audit is the first part of the two-stage external ISO certification process. The Stage 1 Audit consists of an extensive documentation review in which an external ISO 27001 auditor reviews an organization’s policies and procedures to ensure they meet the requirements of the ISO standard and the organization’s Information Security Management System (ISMS). After completing the Stage 1 audit, the auditor will provide feedback outlining whether the organization is ready to move to the Stage 2 audit.
If the auditor determines the ISMS fails to meet the requirements of the ISO 27001 standard, the auditor will typically outline areas of concern—referred to as nonconformities—and will require corrective action or corrective action plans before proceeding to the Stage 2 audit.
An ISO 27001 certification is valid for three years; however, ISO requires surveillance audits be performed each year to ensure the ISMS and its implemented controls continue to operate effectively. Every 12 months during the three-year cycle, an organization’s ISMS must undergo an external audit, where an auditor will assess portions of the ISMS.