Internal audits are an important part of the quality management system in any organization. They help to identify areas for improvement and ensure compliance with standards such as ISO 9001. However, managing an internal audit program can be a daunting task, especially when trying to meet ISO 19011 requirements. In this article, we will discuss some tips on how to effectively manage the internal audit program to be ISO 19011 compliant.
Develop an Audit Plan The first step in managing the internal audit program is to develop an audit plan. This plan should include the scope of the audit, the objectives, and the criteria for the audit. It is also important to identify the resources needed to conduct the audit, including personnel, time, and equipment. The audit plan should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure it is up to date and aligned with the organization's objectives and goals.
Select the Audit Team The next step is to select the audit team. The team should be made up of individuals who have the necessary skills and knowledge to conduct the audit. ISO 19011 requires that the audit team be independent and impartial. This means that the auditors should not be auditing their own work and should not have a vested interest in the outcome of the audit. It is also important to ensure that the auditors are trained in the audit process and have a good understanding of the organization's quality management system.
Conduct the Audit During the audit, the audit team should follow a structured approach. ISO 19011 recommends a six-step process for conducting an audit: initiating the audit, preparing for the audit, conducting the audit, preparing the audit findings, reporting the audit findings, and completing the audit. The audit team should also document all of their findings and observations, including any non-conformities or opportunities for improvement.
Follow Up and Corrective Action After the audit is complete, it is important to follow up on any non-conformities or opportunities for improvement identified during the audit. ISO 19011 requires that corrective action be taken to address any non-conformities identified during the audit. The organization should establish a process for corrective action and ensure that it is followed consistently.
Continual Improvement Finally, it is important to remember that the internal audit program is an ongoing process of continual improvement. ISO 19011 requires that the internal audit program be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure it is effective and efficient. The organization should monitor the effectiveness of the internal audit program and make changes as necessary to ensure it is meeting its objectives.
In conclusion, managing an internal audit program to be ISO 19011 compliant can be challenging, but by following these tips, organizations can ensure they are effectively managing their internal audit program and improving their quality management system. By developing an audit plan, selecting the audit team, conducting the audit, following up on non-conformities, and continually improving the program, organizations can meet the requirements of ISO 19011 and maintain a high level of quality in their operations.