The Effectiveness of Internal Auditing – Part 1

The Effectiveness of Internal Auditing – Part 1

How do you know if your Quality Management System is effective? When a company’s management is committed to – (1) having a vision, mission and clear objectives toward meeting customer requirements; (2) having well-qualified and dedicated employees who share in the company’s vision, mission and objectives to meet customer requirements; (3) working with implemented, controlled and up-to-date documented processes that as utilized are also measured; (4) ensuring that processes and products that are not being adhered to as well as improved upon in meeting customer objectives will be resolved through a corrective action process; and (5) testing and verifying that the products meet customer standards. However, the verification process requires another step and that is to audit the output and measurements used to gage customer satisfaction.
Auditing the output is done through internal audits, i.e., audits done by trained employees who have no participation within the departments being audited – thus preventing the audit from being biased. This is no easy feat and beyond being trained to perform the audits, it is key that an internal auditor understand the company’s overall operations which sometimes can be seen as an art form in solidifying the QMS and identifying any ineffectiveness, corrective actions and continual improvement.
But how does a company improve the effectiveness of the internal audits itself? This will be discussed in our next Blog – The Need for Internal Auditing, Part 2.