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Internal Audit

To ensure ongoing management system structures are in place that will drive and manage your business accomplishments, internal process audits are conducted to ensure effectiveness and efficiency of operations.

Auditors need to be trained in the following: the management system standard requirements (Quality – ISO 9001, Environment – ISO 14001, Occupational Health and Safety – OHSAS 18001), as well as your corporate requirements and Auditing Guidelines – ISO 19011, in order to conduct internal audits on your processes.

Having trained thousands of auditors since 1995, through my own company and working with major registrars, such as British Standards Institute (BSI), QMI SaiGlobal, and Intertek, I would recommend your internal auditors conduct ongoing monthly process audits, of one day's duration, per month on your processes throughout the year. This way your organization stays current on the status of what is happening at your organization and auditors stay competent in conducting audits.

Many organizations do not understand the value of the internal audit process, possibly because the auditors they have chosen do not have enough business management background to audit the management system processes. The reports they have provided in the past to the company do not assist in improving the structure or performance of the company's operations. For this reason, it may be advisable to contract third-party auditors, who have managed business operations and understand management systems, having worked with many organizations. Their varied management system experience insight, as well as audit protocols, would provide an unbiased report, outlining opportunities for improvement. The timeline for external internal audits can be according to your organization's size, processes, and risks, and can be done quarterly, every six months or yearly, depending on the importance of keeping up-to-date verification on your management system.

The audit plan's objectives should be to address that the requirements of the management system meet international standards and corporate requirements. The audit would ensure that customer requirements and opportunities for improvement for customer satisfaction are met. Another example of an objective for your audits is to check the effectiveness of processes, and what opportunities for improvement (OFIs) they would recommend to top management. Here is an opportunity to support innovation.

 
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