Integrated Management System (IMS) - Process Vs Clause Based Audits

#1
Hello All,

Question regarding internal audits: when i was on my lead auditor course they advised that we should audit processes and not clauses. Some companies including our own which are consultancy have few processes. would it be better then to audit the clauses with adding the processes in between following the risk based thinking?

Many thanks
Dom
 
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yodon

Leader
Super Moderator
#2
If you audit clauses, you likely get a very narrow view of compliance. The intent for process-based audits is to get a broader view. For example, if you just audit document control, you may see 1 or 2 documents. But if you audit, say, the purchasing process, you include document control (all the purchasing documents and records), human resources (do they have the necessary competencies), as well as all the purchasing activities.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#3
Do it whatever way you want that provides the coverage necessary, and gives top management/leadership the information it needs to make the decisions required of it. I see both ways all the time (and I probably see more than most folks here), both seem work for the organizations involved
 

malasuerte

Quite Involved in Discussions
#5
Hello All,

Question regarding internal audits: when i was on my lead auditor course they advised that we should audit processes and not clauses. Some companies including our own which are consultancy have few processes. would it be better then to audit the clauses with adding the processes in between following the risk based thinking?

Many thanks
Dom
I am confused, how could you audit clauses if you don't have a process in place for meeting those clauses?

It doesn't matter whether you have 10 processes or 100, you can still conduct process-based auditing and make sure the requirements are met.

If you don't have the processes in place, then you are not auditing, per se, but conducting a gap assessment.
 

John Broomfield

Leader
Super Moderator
#7
Hello All,

Question regarding internal audits: when i was on my lead auditor course they advised that we should audit processes and not clauses. Some companies including our own which are consultancy have few processes. would it be better then to audit the clauses with adding the processes in between following the risk based thinking?

Many thanks
Dom
You have processes. Process is just a fancy word for work.

In your case I imagine that you work includes:

Determining the needs of your clients
Designing your consultancy service to fulfill those needs
Executing the approved design to deliver your services
Reviewing progress and making any necessary adjustments
Invoicing and controlling credit
Recruiting and training staff for competence
…you get the idea.

In other words study your business as a system fulfilling its purpose and make sure it fulfills the requirements of your chosen system standards. Resist the temptation to add process or paperwork where closer study would probably reveal existing evidence of conformity.

PS: You may think your business lacks process because every project is unique (done once). This highlights the importance of designing your service for each project so it satisfies the unique needs of each client.
 

malasuerte

Quite Involved in Discussions
#8
Define "process" please
LOL! Come on now! That's your takeaway? Fine, Choose whatever makes you happy:
  • transform input to output
  • doing something to get something / doing work
  • Do A to get B
  • order of events
  • a series of actions that produce or result in something
  • the way to do something
  • doing stuff to make stuff happen
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#9
LOL! Come on now! That's your takeaway? Fine, Choose whatever makes you happy:
  • transform input to output
  • doing something to get something / doing work
  • Do A to get B
  • order of events
  • a series of actions that produce or result in something
  • the way to do something
  • doing stuff to make stuff happen
Oh, you mean something as complicated as the attached?
 

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