With the current economic challenges facing most companies, Internal audit staff and their training and qualifications are, in many cases below expectations.
A good analogy to a typical internal audit program is playing the piano. If you take a 2-3 day lesson and are then required to give a recital once or twice a year with no practice, how will you perform? You would most naturally select a very simple song, play it very slowly, and perform mediocre at best.
Internal audits are very similar. With inexperienced auditors, the small nonconformances are found while overlooking the larger or more complex issues that have the real potential to improve quality and the management system. They also tend to overlook the many opportunities for improvement or make solid recommendations.
As a general rule of thumb, a full internal audit conducted by internal staff without extensive auditing experience should be about twice the mandays as a recertification audit by a registrar. This can vary greatly based on experience and audit tools, but it does give an indication of the internal resources required.
Management Solutions Group offers public internal auditor training courses along with cost effective onsite training that includes completing part or all of an internal audit at the same time as the training, improving the cost effectiveness.
Another of the Common nonconformances relating to the standard requirements we will discuss in this article is how Metrics and Objectives are addressed in a management system.
Objectives and Metrics
ISO 9001: 2015 requires:
4.4.1 The organization shall determine the processes needed for the QMS… and shall:
c) determine and apply the criteria and methods (including monitoring, measurements and related performance indicators) needed to ensure the effective operation and control of these processes;
There are also other requirements in section 9.1.3 (Analysis and evaluation) and 6.1 (Quality Objectives and planning to achieve them) and 5.3 leadership that address setting objectives / goals and measure them.