People who do not have enough information about what internal auditing really stands for will do well to understand it is just a check to verify what is being said is being done. This can sound pretty simple, and it is indeed if the checks are performed correctly.
The primary requirement of the audit is that the individual given the responsibility of conducting the auditing has an understanding about what he or she has to do. There are various standards to specify that the people who are conducting the auditing must have received the training to do so and must also be competent. In order to become the competent authority the individuals will be required to attend a recognized course of training, which will be based on the quality/improvement standard. Auditors who are looking forward to receiving such training can find courses, which are normally held twice a year.
The routine of the audit begins with a notification to the organization about an audit to be carried out and the date on which it would be done. It will be even better to give the organization that will be audited at least a month’s notice to ensure the availability of the people that need to be audited.
The initial part of the audit will be to carry out a document review and verify if the quality or environmental manual exists and is compliant with the standards that have been specified. The auditors can concentrate on the process of the company after they have been successful in completing the first part.
An opening meeting to prepare the organization for the audit and to explain how it is going to proceed will mark the start of the audit process. It is essential for the auditors to keep the organization informed and prepares the grounds for the work to be accomplished effectively.
Having an audit checklist to ensure the auditor is on track and to prevent matters from being missed or ignored is also a requirement.
The actual audit of the organization processes looks at the process to compare it with the actuals on the ground. They are required to be similar and evidence to prove they are should be found.
Non conformities if any must be recorded, and actions proposed by the auditor.
Non conformities can be classified as minor or major depending upon whether the process is being followed in its entirety or has shortfalls, which need to be rectified. There could be instances where an entire part of the process is not being followed or has been missed. On the other hand instances of individuals slipping up or missing up on commonly compliant issues may also be seen. The former will be a major nonconformity while the latter would be classified as minor.
A closeed meeting to discuss the findings of the audit can be held after the process afforded has been completed.
The final audit report is produced after the meeting is completed.
Though this discussion sounds pretty simple, it is a matter of concern that the standard of auditing is pretty low because it is usually carried out by untrained auditors who have little or no experience. They are even unaware of the fact that their effort is of no value to the organization.
In order to get internal auditing done by competent individuals it will be necessary to have the auditor trained to carry out audits frequently particularly to improve their skills.