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Short answer:

There are 4 audits done over the course of 3 years: Certification audits, 2 annual surveillance audits, and a re-certification audit. These are performed in this sequence only if the company passes each audit.

Official ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 answer:

Clause 9.1.3 Audit Programme

 

9.1.3.2 The audit programme for the initial certification shall include a two-stage initial audit, surveillance audits in the first and second years following the certification decision, and a re-certification audit in the third year prior to expiration of certification. The first three-year certification cycle begins with the certification decision. Subsequent cycles begin with the re-certification decision.

 

9.1.3.3 Surveillance audits shall be conducted at least once a calendar year, except in re-certification years. The date of the first surveillance audit following initial certification shall not be more than 12 months from the certification decision date.

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