Why carry out Internal Audits
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All of the Management Systems
require internal audits to be carried out at least once a year; these
audits provide confidence to the top management that the management
system is performing as it should, or it identifies elements that are
not conforming. In my experience I have found that organisations that
do not carry out audits properly or donít do them at all are lulling
themselves into a false sense of security. Audits should not be
considered an unnecessary overhead but a method of ensuring that things
are as they should be.
I visited a company that had
largely ignored the auditing process and had been audited by one of
their major customers as party of a review. The customer's auditor was
not at all pleased with what he saw; in fact he said that unless some
major improvement was achieved within three months he would recommend
that the supplier/customer relationship would be at an end.
This is where Quality Matters was
appointed to help and get the quality management system back on track.
So far we have updated policies and procedures, set up KPI's to measure
how well each department is doing and finally we will carry out a full
management system audit to ensure full compliance.
The company will, of course, need
to maintain the system in future and they have decided to send their
internal auditors to one of our certificated internal management audit
courses to update their knowledge and ensure that the company quality
system is maintained.
The good news is that the companyís
supplier has renewed their contract for another year.
Internal audits are an essential
part of any companyís management strategy; they should not be a
battle-ground; they should be able to show compliance with systems
documented procedures and processes.
An auditor should not set out to
find things wrong but is there to confirm that things are right. If an
area is not performing well then the auditor will, of course, point
this out and get the person or department being audited to put it right.
In these troubled times it is
essential that organisations get the very best out of their management
systems and auditing is one way of making this happen.
About the Author
Chris Eden FIBC, MISSA, ACQI is a
director of Quality Matters Limited an established independent
management consultancy based in Essex, UK which specialises in ISO19011
Bespoke Internal Auditor
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2012-11-15 09:01:53 in Business Articles