When you are looking forward to getting into the ISO family internal audits will be necessary, and if you have to do, them you may as well get the most of the audits.
The Three Objectives Of Management System Audit
Conformance — this is a factor which should not be ignored because it will protect the management from the findings of the registrar and also ensure that the processes are being followed.
Effectiveness — auditors are required to determine if the processes are effective to perform what they are required to. It would be ideal if there would be documented objectives and measurements that can demonstrate the effectiveness of the process though this is not considered fully practical. However, effectiveness remains relevant and therefore, the auditor will be required to make a conclusion about the same.
Improvement — there is a requirement of continuous improvement within ISO and the management also finds it good for themselves. Auditors must be willing to question and challenge for improvements in all processes. Stated objectives must be questioned to understand how they are being improved upon.
Mentioned below Are Some Tips To Boost Internal Auditing
Audits are generally performed for the senior management, and therefore, it would be wise to ask for their involvement within the audit. It will also be beneficial to understand what they are looking for from the audit. As long as the audit is conducted thoroughly and meaningfully any problems discovered can be considered beneficial. Information about the process being reliable and consistent will also be valuable.
Internal auditors cannot hold the impression; they are just employees of the organization and must be willing to accept the responsibility of acting as trainers and mentors. They should be empowered and encouraged to provide answers, assist with solutions and add value wherever possible. They should also be able to help their colleagues to prepare for an external audit.
You should be making an effort to ensure that your internal auditors are experts on the process you have. They can be asked to verify for ISO issues and to explain the standard to their colleagues when they are conducting the audit. This will be rather difficult with volunteer auditors, and therefore, you must be prepared to give them the time they need to prepare for and execute the audit and also to look for and encourage best practices.
The internal audit should be an educating process for all employees. It should also provide the organization with the assistance; they need to handle the external auditor. Employees must be given an opportunity to understand how they can answer questions, and therefore, they should be given enough information about their process and about the controls that are important to make it successful along with knowledge about the measures that exist. This information when given to the employees builds them up for improvement.
ISO audits must cover all the requirements of the standard every year even though this is not a requirement of the standard. However, it has been observed that registrars regularly impose this requirement, and therefore, it would be a good idea to refer your management system to the standard and maintain records of any comparison. The management should be keen about this matter because it will help them to understand the requirements of the standard and to ensure that they are fully in compliance.
While it is necessary to conduct the audits effectively there is no reason for the organization not to introduce some changes, which will be suitable for them. They can certainly look forward to mixing up the schedule by ensuring some audits are conducted by the clauses issued by ISO and others by the procedures they have along with the departments. They just have to ensure that different people are looking at the processes and have variable perspectives. Spending more time on areas that are important will make internal auditing and the report that follows one that will show the true face of the organization.