Internal Audit is an essential part of any quality management system. They provide self-checks that ensure the organization remains in compliance with ISO 9001 requirements. Audits can be conducted internally by management or externally by clients, but whichever method is chosen, it’s important to know the best practices for conducting an audit.
What is an Internal Audit?
An internal audit is a review of the quality management system. These can be conducted at any point in time, but are often done to assess the effectiveness of the process. They are typically done by someone other than the person or team responsible for creating or maintaining the process. It may include visual observation, computations, interviews, etc.
Internal Audit Program
An internal audit program is a formal, regular examination of current operations to determine if planned objectives are being met. It should be conducted at least once per year and in conjunction with external audits when possible. These are often performed by the quality manager or other qualified personnel, but anyone in the organization can be designated to perform an internal audit.
How to Conduct Internal Audits in a Quality Management System
Companies that want to maintain compliance with quality management system regulations and maintain high quality standards should conduct internal audits. These audits can be for a variety of purposes such as assessing the operations of the business, evaluating processes, improving performance, and much more.
Benefits of ISO 9001 audits
ISO has a set of principles and standards that can be used to measure and improve quality management. ISO 9001 audits look at how well the organization’s policies, procedures, and practices conform to these principles and standards. The audit verifies that there is a system in place for managing the quality of products and services ̶ which are relevant for any company ̶ including customer satisfaction. A company with an ISO 9001 certification is more likely to succeed.
What to Report on an Internal Audit Report
Internal audits are an important part of any quality management system, but they don’t need to take up too much of your time. The main purpose of conducting it to make sure that the management system is working properly. It’s also a good idea to find out what changes or improvements should be made in order to make it work better. You can use the results from previous audits in order to figure out what you have done wrong in the past and what needs to be fixed.
Internal audits are performed by employees who have the authority to travel across the organization and review its operations, processes, quality management system, and documentation. These identify potential areas for improvement in operations or procedures.