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Experiences as a female auditor / auditee


Super Moderator
Thank you all for your input. As many of you have mentioned.....gain experience and focus on learning. I plan to do so. @ImNotLisa....Love the suggestion of developing my verbal communication skills and reading some books on difficult situations. @Randy...You mention that ISO 9001 Auditors are extremely common. Any suggestions on additional certifications for someone who is new to the area of auditing? Again, I really appreciate everyone's advice, experiences and replies.
Depending on your background and experience ISO 14001 (Environmental) OHSAS 18001 (soon to be ISO 45001 Health & Safety).

Now if you do it right you can take a 9001 Lead Auditor course based on the Exemplar Global TPECS modular design reducing overall cost to full price for the 1st course and then very reduced cost for additional courses such as

ISO 9001 Lead = QM, AU & TL modules
ISO 14001 Lead = EM module
OHSAS 18001 Lead = OH module

If you've been successful with the earlier AU & TL exams in the ISO 9001 Lead course you don't have to repeat the AU & TL modules for the other Lead courses...That's part of the good side of a TPECS course.

Being able to do 9001, 14001 & 18001 keeps me working and places me at the head of the line just like it does for quite a few other folks because that's where the vast majority of the work is.

It's not really as simple as I said but it's a starting place
Randy, Perfect! This is exactly the type of information I need! I checked out the company (Omnex) that I have signed on for my ISO 9001 Lead Auditor Course and it states "Successful completion of this course will fulfill all requirements necessary for all Exemplar Global certified TPECS auditors". Also that upon completion of the class you will receive a certificate of achievement for Exemplar Global QM, AU and TL. Is this what you are referring to? I will definitely look into the other certifications you mentioned. The more I can get under my belt that better! Again thank you for your information. I know time is precious but you all are really giving me some great advice and guidance!


Super Moderator
Exactly, now price the EM/OH modules and look at the savings. One of the beauties is you don't have to have experience to acquire the training and having the training can assist you in gaining the experience.
Howdy. Just kind of stumbled on to his site and have to say I'm pretty impressed with the amount and breadth of the info.

Currently working toward my Aerospace Experienced Auditor registration in OASIS. I've completed the Lead Auditor and AATT classes and updates to the current levels. I'm about halfway through my 20 audit days. Needed something to do for the next 6-9 years until my wife retires.

I've been following 2nd and 3rd party auditors around for 25+ years, and I don't recall any type of condescension or harassment directed toward female auditors, or from male auditors directed toward female employees. I also don't recall any real idiots coming in to audit me. Most of the women I've encountered in my manufacturing life have been smarter than the guys. All of my background is in aerospace manufacturing. Not sure if the industry makes a difference.

I'll try to keep up. Mike

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
I have been a 3rd party Lead Auditor since 2012 and have not once experienced harassment. I have found that harassment is a sign of not being taken seriously. Things to consider:

Dress appropriately for the site. For me that almost always means shirts and slacks that I can afford to lose to stains, plus of course steel toed shoes. I have a colleague who wears feminine-looking steel toed shoes made by Rockport. They cause quite a stir because they look like basic flats, but it turns out there is no issue with gender bias as she has a grandmotherly appearance and she knows more about safety and environmental than anyone else in the room. I have a colleague who caused a stir within our community by wearing a skirt and heels to the opening meeting. Whether or not that's true, or whether she did so because her previous CB employer maintained that (calling it business attire) as a policy and she changed clothes immediately after the closing meeting, seems immaterial: her reputation is that of wearing a skirt and heels in a chemical plant.

Focus on technical requirements; once your expertise is established, there should be no trouble being taken seriously.

Act professionally and maintain a "poker face." If addressed inappropriately, keep your cool. We meet all kinds; in the end we serve our customers and represent our profession and CB.

As for the rest: the market is saturated with 9001 auditors. I get most of my work by being able to simultaneously audit 9001, 14001, 18001 and/or RC 14001/RCMS in a large array of SIC (business codes). Automotive, aerospace and medical instrument auditors are also in great demand.

I hope this helps!
I also wanted to comment on the job opportunity part of it. The aerospace auditing opportunities appear abundant at the present time. It looks like most of the aerospace CB's are looking for auditors.

The AEA demographics are such that when the standard rolls, as AS9100 did in late 2016, a lot of them call it quits rather than get certified to the new standard. New auditors are slow to come on board due to the lag from standard intro to training availability. The implementation of the AATT training to the new rev of AS9101 was a mess to the point they had to halt it for a while. It also looks like compensation for aerospace auditors reflects a sellers market.
@BradM thank you for your response on this subject. Regarding your last sentence; can you recommend some threads? I am pursuing my ISO 9001 Certification. I have plenty of time to read and looking for as many resources as possible to. Thank you for your time. -Dawn
@Jen Kirley Thank you for your post. Great information. Are there any other websites, blogs, books, any sources for additional information on becoming a Lead Auditor that you can recommend? Thanks. -Dawn

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Are there any other websites, blogs, books, any sources for additional information on becoming a Lead Auditor that you can recommend?
Do an advanced search here at The Cove with the word auditor in the title and in the Careers forum, like below and you will find a number of relevant threads.

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