The auditor should contact the Auditee to make arrangements well in advance of the audit. A confirmation of what has been arranged should be provided in detail within the audit plan.
The audit plan
An audit plan is required in order to achieve a defined level of assurance that errors will be detected. Planning for an audit is a complex task that requires experience. The plan will identify both the procedures to be carried out and the extent to which these procedures should be applied.
The audit plan provides a chronology of the audit from start to finish and should include;
- The objective of the audit (i.e., meet regulatory requirements, facilitate continuous improvement, determine effectiveness of the organisations QMS, determine conformity of the computer system).
- Criteria and references.
- The scope of the audit to include the business functions to be audited.
- Scheduling; dates, time, on site location and logistics (it is important to communicate when the supplier can expect to be audited after all, audits scheduled in advance achieve better results).
- Duration (the length of time expected to conduct the audit).
- Roles and responsibilities of the audit team members.
- The allocation of appropriate resources to key areas of the audit.
- The working and reporting language of the audit.
- Report topics.
- Any health and safety, quality risks created by the audit.
- The sampling method to be used.
- Confidentiality (any documents deemed confidential should be retained in securely by all audit team members at ALL times).
- Additional measures.
- Follow-up actions.