With a view to auditing or certification, a gap analysis is performed with the intention of assessing management systems for the delta (gap) between the status quo and a required target state, e.g. the requirements of a new standard. The gap analysis is usually used when a standard is revised or completely reissued.
Certification companies then offer their customers a gap analysis to determine the current status, which is compared on site with the requirements of the standard. The result of a gap analysis is used to determine which gaps still need to be closed in order to achieve the desired status. The identified weaknesses (deltas/gaps) are documented and must be closed by the company before the actual certification audit.
A term often used synonymously with gap analysis is delta audit. Delta audits are also a common procedure during the transition to a revised, updated version of the standard in order to better assess necessary resources and any action required for a successful transition to the new standard.