I was told that the MR (Management Representative) shouldn't be doing internal audits

I have just taken the Lead Auditor course, and was told that the MR shouldn't be doing internal audits because he/she can't be truly objective. What is everyone's thoughts on this? This has been common practice here where I am the MR, yet I see where our instructor was coming from. I also issue all NCR's to the areas after an internal audit, and screen the corrective action when they are returned. How is everyone else doing this? I thought we were doing good!
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Our MR does about half of the internal audits, the other half done by the other 3 people we have trained. Prior to our registration the MR did all the internal audits and it was not a problem with our auditor. After registration we thought it would be a good idea to spread the fun around.



We audit in teams of 2 people, 6 teams.
Audits are scheduled by a QE who is audit coordinator. Mgt Rep. is member of a team but coordinator takes care to schedule Rep's team in area where there is total independence. Coordinator reports audit status to Rep who inturn reports to Mgt.

Al Dyer

Just went through a session of selecting a registrar and the question of whether the MR can also be the Lead Internal Auditor was part of our decision process.

In all cases we had a representative from the registrar and the potential auditor. They all unanimously said that, yes, the MR can be the LIA as long as they do not audit areas that they are responsible for.

In my situation that means that I cannot audit 4.1 management responsibility, 4.5 document control, and 4.17 internal audit.

We do have an internal audit team that would audit the areas that I could not, although it is still my responsibility to produce and report the audit results to management and issue corrective actions.

Along with this responsibility I also realize that I must ensure that my areas of responsibility are conforming to standards and requirements. If not, there would be no credibility to my position. It comes down to personal and corporate integrity.

Would you mind posting the name of your lead auditr trainer?

All companies are continually striving to reduce costs and the cost of having a full time internal auditor can be prohibitive to small and medium sized companies. We all wear many hats and reputible registrars and auditors realize this.

Hell, most of the lead auditors probably started out as managements reps and internal auditors!


Dan Larsen

Like Al, I don't see an issue with having the MR handle audits. In fact, based on the defined responsibilities for the MR within the standard, I tend to think this is logical.

Of course, integrity could be an issue but that's where the registrar comes in. Now, the MR shouldn't audit areas of direct responsibility (4.17 is the most obvious). Use an alternative lead auditor for those areas. Better yet, have the President coordinate and review those audits...after all it's his/her system and the MR works for him/her!


I don't see any problem in MR conducting the internal audits. I myself being a MR for our group of companies, I almost audit all the areas (except ofcourse 4.1, 4.5 & 4.17). And this has never been a issue with the Registrars. Audit of 4.1, 4.5 & 4.17 was done by other qualified internal auditors who were independent within our company.

Seven Seas Group of Companies
In 8.2.2 of the 2000 edition states
"Auditors shall not audit their own work." You should be OK unless you have a lot of overlap at your company.

Fire Girl


I just had this very discussion with my registar at our last audit. He told me I was not to be auditing areas I was responsible for. I do co-ordinate the Internal Auditing but I stll felt I should be auditing Internal Auditing. I felt that it was a good way for me to check up on my Internal Auditors and how they were doing. He disagreed. So then end result.... I can't audit any areas I am responsible for.



Most of our written procedures contain signatures by Quality Assurance. Either as the originator or the authorizer. A case could be made that I can't audit any of those procedures. We'll argue that when the time comes. I would stay away from those areas mentioned in the previous postings. As MR all audit findings get reported to Top Management for review and disposition, so there is no conflict of interest there.
As far as auditor courses go, and I've been to a few, there are differing opinions between instructors on a number of topics. I treat the disparities as opinions and concentrate on the nuts and bolts of auditing.

Ted Black

I just ran across this thread even though it's old and would like to comment.
I do all the internal audits for our entire corporation as the Corporate Quality Manager. We have been written up several times for auditor independance. Although I direct and advise our MRs I do not have any day-to-day responsibilities in any areas including setting audit schedules, issuing CARs, etc. related to internal audits. I don't know how to convince the auditors that I am independent and that the finding should be reversed.
Any suggestions?
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