Internal Audits – Objective and Competent

February 9, 2016
By Carrie Salters

Internal audits, while necessary, are often dreaded by companies that conduct or receive them for a few reasons:

• The auditor’s responsibilities are time consuming—they schedule, conduct, and provide a detailed report of each audit to management.
• The auditees often feel interrogated by the auditor.
• It can be difficult to find a qualified and objective auditor.

Internal audits may be conducted by a delegation of employees or by a third party auditor. In either case, the auditor must be objective when conducting audits. Depending on the size of the company, it can be difficult to find a group of objective employees. In smaller companies, where everyone knows one another, employees often find it difficult to write-up their co-workers for a nonconformance to the process or standard. In larger companies, employees may not understand a process well enough to competently determine what is acceptable and what requires corrective action. Additionally, an employee’s knowledge of the standard is often limited, which impacts their ability to recognize a deviation from requirements.

At Freer Consulting Company, we can help as follows:

• Provide a one to two day training session to employees. This session provides important tools and reference documents to promote objectivity, impartiality, and an overall less stressful audit experience.
• Train internal auditors on the highlights of the standard, including what questions to ask and what types of records to look for in order to meet the requirements.
• Provide certified auditors to conduct internal audits on your behalf.

If you have questions about ISO 9001, ISO 14001, API, BRC, HACCP, or other international and industry standards and would like to learn more about how certification enhances marketability, contact Freer Consulting at (206) 285-9044 or info@freerconsulting.com