Does the audit have any purpose?
“You get what you inspect, not what you expect!”
An audit process ensures that a company’s internal controls, processes, guidelines, and policies are suitable, effective and in compliance with governmental requirements, industry standards, and company policies.
The aim of a management system audit is to discover and evaluate the need for improvement or corrective action. An audit should not be confused with ‘surveillance’ or ‘inspection’ activities performed for the purpose of process control, or product/service acceptance.
Audits should be designed to:
- Determine the conformity or nonconformity of the management system with stated requirements appointed in relevant Standards and the organization’s management system documentation.
- Determine the efficiency of the applied management system in meeting specified risk management objectives.
- Provide the auditee with the chance to advance the management system.
- Meet governing requirements.
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Audits are generally initiated for these reasons:
- To evaluate an organization and their own management system against the Standard.
- To prove that an organization and its management system continue to meet specified requirements.
Audits are an essential management tool used for verifying objective evidence of processes, to assess how successfully processes have been implemented, for judging the effectiveness of achieving any defined target levels, to provide evidence concerning reduction and elimination of problem areas. For the benefit of the organization, quality auditing should not only report nonconformance and corrective actions, but also highlight areas of good practice. In this way other departments may share information and change their working practices as a result, also contributing to continual improvement.