Can the Management Representative Do Internal Audits?

P

PeterL

#1
I've been told that since the MR has responsibility for the entire quality system, the MR does not have the necessary independence when auditing any part of the system. Let's take a real example. Our site MR has overall responsibility for the quality system, including the lab quality system. The lab manager has direct responsibility for the lab. The MR is not involved in any supervisory role in the lab but does provide guidance to the lab as to conformance to various standards such as ISO 17025, ISO/TS16949, etc. Can the MR perform an internal audit of the lab?
 
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A

Angela-2007

#2
Yes, the mgmt rep can perform an audit. If you explain it in the same way to an auditor it shows independence. Our system is set up the same way.

Angela
 
C

C Emmons

#3
I am the MR for in my company for all 20 locations and the auditor for all 20 locations. We have been certified since 99 and it has never been an issue so far.
 
T

tomvehoski

#4
The MR can audit, but not activities they have direct control of. Examples could include Management Review, the audit program itself, QMS development, etc. There should be no problem if they audit an area they do not supervise/work in.

The standard you are working on makes a bit of difference too. ISO '94 and QS state auditors must be independent. 2000 and TS changed it to "auditors can't audit their own work", so it is easier now to prove independence even in a supervisory role.

Hope this helps,

Tom
 
#5
Hi there and welcome to the Cove :bigwave:

PeterL said:

I've been told that since the MR has responsibility for the entire quality system, the MR does not have the necessary independence when auditing any part of the system.
---X---
Can the MR perform an internal audit of the lab?
Of course the MR can do audits. As Tom quite correctly points out: As long as he just like any other auditor stays away from his own tasks: No problem. Besides, a bit of first hand experience will obviously make you a better MR.

In the described case (the lab): He is responsible for the overall quality system, not the lab quality system in particular, right? If so: No problem.

/Claes
 
#6
I have a client where the president is also the MR (very small company). Their registrar's auditor indicated that the president could not audit because of conflict of interest. Rather than argue, the prez decided to let others audit instead.
 
T

tomvehoski

#7
I had the same situation a few years ago with the President auditing her own system. The auditor started down the path of "you can't do that", but I argued and pointed out that she never audited areas she had direct responsibility for. The company was only about 8 people, so it was difficult to manage independence everywhere. I won the arguement and she has been auditing ever since.

I also run into some questions as a consultant. I often audit for my clients - many are too small to want to give up the time it would take to go to an auditor course and do the audits. Often I have written the inital procedures for them also. I prefer to have someone else in our group do the audit, but often our scheduling does not allow it. Auditors have questioned how I can audit procedures I wrote. My argument is that I may have drafted them, but the client designed them, gave me the input, modified and approved them. It has not been a problem since I just get it rolling - the client finishes them.

Tom
 
P

PeterL

#8
I want to thank all of you who responded to my question. It's always good to get a second opinion before applying an unnecessary constraint. This MR is going to audit!

Peter
 

Manoj Mathur

Quite Involved in Discussions
#9
Best of Luck Peter for Audit.

I feel MR is one of the best Auditor. He/She understands System Requirements quite well. I am the MR for Company and most of the auditing (once in two months time) is conducted with my support. I used to guide the people also while conducting the audit about What to be seen and what is Objective Evidence.

But I would like to add There are Seven Documented Procedures ( Seven in TS 16949:2002 and Six in ISO 9001:2000) and One quality manual which is framed by MR and this whole can not be audited by MR Itself.
 
C

CINDY

#10
I AM ALSO THE MR, WRITE THE MANUALS, PROCEDURES, CONTROL FORMS AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION. I ALSO HEAD INTERNAL AUDITS. WE HAVE A TOTAL OF THREE INTERNAL AUDITORS AND HAVE WORKED THIS METHOD FOR THREE YEARS. OVER THOSE THREE YEARS, I HAVE NOTICED THAT INTERNAL AUDITORS THAT DO NOT KNOW THE SYSTEM INSIDE AND OUT, ISSUE LESS ACTIONS TO BE CORRECTED. THE POINT OF PERFORMING INTERNAL AUDITS IS PREVENTIVE BASED. THE BETTER YOU KNOW THE SYSTEM, THE MORE PRODUCTIVE INTERNAL AUDITS BECOME.
 
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