Tuesday, 30 July 2013


During the week I asked my principal consultant what else contributes to conducting successful audits, his response was simple "preparation". And so, today I briefly share with you the necessary steps that should be taken if you are an auditor. These steps can be applied to most types of audits and industries.

Initial contact

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.
As with any plan, there should be a degree of flexibility to permit any changes that may be required. Once the plan is in place, it should be reviewed and agreed by the audit client. A questionnaire can be used as a tool to assist the Auditor in conducting a systematic, thorough, accurate and consistent audit, helping the auditor to focus on important issues. The audit questionnaire will be discussed in more detail in another post.

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