A positive and constructive attitude toward auditing can make the exercise enjoyable for both the auditor and the auditee. Most people enjoy telling you what they know and how good they are at their job. In addition, without an air of suspicion and distrust, auditees are likely to confide concerns or suggestions that are in the company's best interest to address and not simply lay blame.
In the course of seeking conformance, concerns or nonconformances may become evident, but it is important that everyone involved understand that the intent is to verify / validate conformance. Conclusions must be based on objective evidence, observation, interview and documents.
If auditing is understood as a staff persecution or a 'witch-hunt,' then do not be surprised when (not if, but when) the members of your company respond with suspicion, distrust and even hostility. It is extremely important that management appreciate the purpose and principles of quality system auditing and that the auditors conduct themselves accordingly.
The results of an audit should indicate whether the quality system is properly implemented and maintained. These results are considered by management for action as necessary.
Back to first slide
View graphic version
One way to ensure that everyone understands and retains a good perspective on the intent of a management system audit, is to develop an audit mission statement. A two or three sentence statement that captures the positive and constructive intent of your company's audit program can help keep the auditor and auditee on track.
Finally, Quality System audits are not surprise audits! They are planned and everyone knows when it will happen, and what elements or departments will be audited. There should be no surprises, as this tends to foster mistrust towards the audit process, and a feeling of "them versus us" between your company and the auditors.
ISO 19011 - Quality and Environmental Management Systems Auditing Forum Discussions