ISO 9001:2008 Internal Auditor; Quality Audit; Auditing Training
ISO 9001:2008 Internal Auditing
ISO 9001 is a standard that defines the requirements for a quality management system, the documented system that defines how your processes are controlled and interact with each other.
One of the requirements of ISO 9001 is that you should constantly audit your processes to ensure conformance and identify ways to continually improve what you do. This achieved through a program of planned internal audits of your processes as well as third party audits by your certification body.
Planning Your ISO 9001 Audits
ISO 9001:2008 Internal Audit Planning
It is important that all of the processes within the company are audited on a regular basis, in fact it is a requirement of the ISO 9001 standard. The frequency of audits should be based on the importance of the process and the results of previous audits.
A process that is key to your business should be audited more often than a minor support process and areas that frequently demonstrate problems should be audited more frequently than those that have always shown themselves to be in control.
The plan does not have to be complicated, a simple chart with the processes down one side and the weeks or months across the top with a mark to show when the audit is due is sufficient.
Quality Auditor Training
Internal ISO9001 Quality Auditor Role
The internal auditor should be both independent of the area to be audited and be fair and unbiased, an auditor should not be auditing an area in which he works. The role of the auditor is to give a fair feedback of the performance of a process as well as to suggest opportunities to improve those processes.
Internal Quality Audit
Internal Quality Audit Preparation and Check Sheets
The auditor must prepare before conducting the audit, ensure that they arrange the audit with person in charge of the area to be audited with a convenient start and end time, an audit is not a surprise visit to try to catch people out!
The auditor should review the process documentation and previous audits prior to the audit and prepare a check sheet of questions that they will ask. The check sheet will ensure that the auditor stays on track and covers all of the areas that need to be covered. It is very easy to get side tracked within an audit as you follow an audit trail, your checklist will ensure that you don’t miss any important areas. Your checklist can also double as your notes, record your evidence alongside the questions.
Opening meeting for your ISO 9001 Internal Audit
Have an opening meeting with the auditee to ensure that they understand the purpose of the audit, explain that the audit is not being conducted to catch them out but to highlight any problems so that they can be corrected before defects occur as well as to find any potential areas for improvement.
Conducting your ISO 9001:2008 Internal Quality Audit
Follow your check sheet that you have already prepared and record the evidence that you see when you see it, an audit report is not just a list of non-conformances!
Ask open questions to get the people you are auditing to explain what they do, questions such as “how do you..”, “Explain what happens when ..”, “Show me how you..” will get them to run through what they do. Closed questions are ones that will normally result in a yes or no answer and should be used to confirm what you have found, closed questions are “So when A happens you do B..”, “Is that then entered into the database?”
Internal Auditing Video
Internal Quality Audit Closing Meeting
At the end of the audit present your findings to those that you have audited, be factual about what you have found and present the good points as well as any bad. If you have found any non-conformances discuss them here and ensure that the auditee accepts them and defines corrective actions.
Audit Follow up
If you have found non-conformances during the audit you must ensure that you follow up the actions being undertaken to ensure that the problems are closed out and that the issue is solved. Depending on the severity and the nature of the non-conformance, you can either just review updated documentation in isolation if that is where the problems were or you can conduct a follow up audit to see if the problems are solved.
Internal Quality Auditor Training
Writing your Internal ISO 9001 Audit Report
Write up your report and any non-conformance reports immediately after the audit whilst it is all fresh in your mind. Be factual and ensure that you report the conforming items as well as the non-conforming items, your report should reference the evidence that you observed within the audit as evidence that you conducted the audit in question.
ISO 9001:2008 Internal Quality Auditor Training
There are many training organizations out there that conduct ISO 9001 internal quality auditing training courses, where possible use one whose quality auditor training course has been approved by IRCA (the International Register of Certificated Auditors.) Using an approved trainer will ensure that the standard of the training that you receive will not only be top quality but your auditors could also use this qualification to be a recognized internal Quality Auditor.
Training courses can be available in either a class room or as in-house courses, my personal preference is for in-house courses as they often include the opportunity to conduct audits as part of the course and give the opportunity for all to observe and peer review each others audits.
Internal quality audit training courses usually are of 1 or 2 days duration.
ISO 9001:2008 Quality Audit Links
The following are some useful links that will help you gain additional information regarding the ISO 9000 standards;
International Organization for Standardization; Visit the ISO home page for up to date information regarding the ISO9000 series of standards and other international standards.
Lloyds Register Quality Assurance; Lloyds Register Quality Assurance provide internal audit training as well as providing certification audits for your company.
British Standards Institute; British Standards Institute can also provide internal auditor training and certification audits and other services.
The American Standards Organization; The (ANSI) American Standards Organization can provide internal auditor training for ISO 9001 as well as many other services.
International Register of Certified Auditors (IRCA); The International Register of Certified Auditors keeps records of all auditors that have passed training courses for ISO9001 Auditing and met their requirements for audits conducted.
UKAS; The United Kingdom Accreditation Service is responsible for monitoring the quality of the various certification bodies such as Lloyds.
Chartered Quality Institute (CQI); The Chartered Quality Institute (Formerly the Institute of Quality Assurance.) is a great place to join if you have any formal quality qualifications or experience in quality management.
American Society for Quality (ASQ); The American society for quality is similar to the CQI, use them for many quality resources and support.
These links can help you with conducting internal quality audits to ISO 9001:2008 as well as Internal Auditor Training.