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Internal Audit Teams - How big the audit team should be and who should be on it

J

jsn80

#1
I'm in the beginning stages of developing my internal audit program. There has been some debate about how big the audit team should be and who should be on it. I am wondering what other companies are doing and if anyone can tell me if they have a preference and why.

A little background info;

I am currently the only QM employee. (separate QA department)
Company is around 500 employees
Five different locations across the US
 
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ScottK

Not out of the crisis
Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
Re: Internal audit teams

There really is not hard/fast rule.

Given the information you provided I would say you should have a least a couple auditors at each facility.
Reasons for that are:
1) It makes the auditees at each facility more comfortable if it's people the know on the team
2) It gives staff at each facility the feeling of participation in the whole QMS process
3) it gives you "outside eyes" to audit the other plants when you pull auditors from Plant A to help audit Plant B and this provides for cross plant camaraderie.
4) It saves in travel expenses

The size of each facility would matter. If there's only 30 people, one or two auditors will do. If one is 150 people you may want more.
My facility is 100 people and I trained 8 auditors plus myself. Then I qualified one of them as a lead auditor so I don't have to be on every single internal audit team. Two have since moved on, but I still have a capable audit team.

So if I were in your shoes I might consider qualifying a lead auditor at each facility so you don't have to travel as much to lead audits... saving money.

Marc has some great training aids and outlines in the Free Files. Take a look.

Sounds like a fun job. I envy you.
 
Last edited:
J

Jeff Frost

#3
Re: Internal audit teams

We will need a little more information related to your situation.

Will this be a full time dedicated team of auditors auditing all five-business locations or will each location have its own team?

Are you planning to build teams from other departments like engineering, manufacturing or support services?

How many process are involved at each business location?
 
J

jsn80

#4
Re: Internal audit teams

We will need a little more information related to your situation.

Will this be a full time dedicated team of auditors auditing all five-business locations or will each location have its own team?

Are you planning to build teams from other departments like engineering, manufacturing or support services?

How many process are involved at each business location?
Absolutely nothing has been planned at this point. I'm trying to determine what the best solution would be.

The location I'm in (Kansas) has Purchasing, logistics, two segments of manufacturing, maintenance, quality and R&D - 250+ people. Corporate office (one hour away) has accounting, purchasing, product design, customer service, management - 50-100 ppl. Our Neveda location is just logistics - less than 50 ppl. The New Hampshire location is primarly logistics (there is a very small tech support group) - 50 ppl. The Massachusetts location is a small manufacturing location - less than 20 ppl.
 

Coury Ferguson

Moderator here to help
Staff member
Super Moderator
#5
Re: Internal audit teams

I have moved these posts since it related to Auditing. Another Moderator may move it again.
 
M

Migre

#6
Hi JSN80.

In addition to the replies posted already, I'd like to expand on the suggestion to aim for a couple of auditors at each of the 5 locations. I agree with aiming for an auditor presence at each site though, when it comes to numbers, I'd ensure you have more than enough to cover your requirements. Without suggesting hard figures right here and now (which will depend on the number of audits you have planned, frequency etc.) I'd say this should be one of your primary considerations. I inherited an audit team when starting my current job a year ago, covering one of the 3 departments I'm based in. The number of auditors then was enough (just) to cover the audit schedule. However, in the past 6 months, one of the team has gone on maternity leave, one has left the organisation and one can no longer commit due to an increased workload (surprise, surprise, as a result of one of their colleagues leaving and not being replaced). Now isn't the time to recruit more auditors as the current environment is very sensitive indeed (with a large percentage of staff facing significant pay cuts as a result of job evaluation - the general mood of a hell of a lot of the workforce swings between anger, despair and a real sense of worthlessness). It's not a catastrophic problem (I still have a couple of really good auditors and I can do more myself) but it's certainly an inconvience that could have been avoided with just a little forward thinking a couple of years ago.

Regards,

Mick
 

Hershal

Metrologist-Auditor
Staff member
Super Moderator
#7
I have been in the same situation when I was Corporate.

I had qualified leads at each location that required much travel to get to, and Corporate handled closer locations.

Some of the team requirements depends on the Standard(s) involved. For example, 9K and ISO/IEC 17025 will have different requirements in terms of what personnel need to be assigned because of what must be audited, even though neither specifically state the make-up of the team.

Set up your procedures to allow for flexibility in scheduling also, such as allowing for "bite sized" audits if appropriate at one location, while another may decide just getting it done in a two day all-out effort works better. That way, each facility can tailor around workload.

Hope this helps.
 
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