Internal Audits – How does yours shape up?
One key aspect of becoming and maintain your ISO certification whether it’s to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 or any other standard for that matter is undertaking an internal audit. We’ve covered a few tips in the past to planning your internal audit but we’ve come up with a few more to ensure that your internal audit process is not only meeting your ISO certification requirements but it also adding value to your business.
Where are your critical control points?
Whether you’re a service provider or a product manufacturer or wholesaler there will be critical steps in your process and these are the ideal places to focus upon in your internal audit. Where these points fall will differ depending on what your organisation does.
One potential issue for product manufacturers may arise around suppliers; if your organisation has a number of key suppliers that in faults with their product could have impacts upon your own deliverables, ensuring the processes around these suppliers are robust is a good focus point for internal audits.
For those working within the service industry may have difference focuses for their internal audits. For example, a face to face engineering consulting business may decide to focus their internal audit’s around spending time with those employees working in customer facing roles including supervised visits and further training. The key when considering your critical control points is to think about where could things go bad? If an issue does arise where could it impact on your business.
Do you have the right person for the job?
When considering planning your internal audits thinking about who is going to be undertaking the audit. Do you have a staff member with the right temperament and the ability to communicate and have a comprehensive understanding of your processes in order to undertake the audit? If you’re unsure whether the required skills are in-house your organisation could consider using an external source for your internal audits.
Are the right people available?
A key part of an internal audit is ensuring that the person or persons undertaking the audit process have access to the correct people within the organisation. They may need to for example speak with senior managers and top managements and need support from these managers and the rest of the team to ensure that the correct people are available for the internal audit as required.