Internal Auditing and Pre-Assessment

D
#1
This is an off-the-wall question, but if we are having a pre-assessment conducted by a consulting service, can I have internal auditors do an audit for a specific element at the same time?
We have two audits left to cover all the elements, and I thought it would be beneficial for my internal auditors to do the audits at the same time a lead auditor from a consulting firm is doing a pre-assessment. Your thoughts?
 
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barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
#2
absolutely......just have the consultan/auditor use your procedures and forms...take a copy of his credientials for your auditor files as well. Does you procedure allow for external auditors? May be a nice addition as if you get customer/gov/fda audits you may as well take advantage of them....you need to have a guide tied up so you may as well count them.
 
D
#3
I thought I read in the QS standard we cannot use external customer audits, or any external auditing in replace of our internal audit system. I don't have the standard with me, but I will take a look. Thanks for all the info, Dawn
 

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member
Admin
#4
Dawn,

I read your first post to ask if two audits, one internal the other external, could be run at the same time. This way your internal auditors could take advantage of watching and learning from a professional consultant. For this I would say yes, a good idea.

As I read your second post, I got the impression that you would like to use the outside consultant's audit to supplement some missing Internal Audits. I believe that you would get both "Yes you can." and "No your can't." answers on this. I am from the camp of "Maybe.". For instance, Barb's question as to whether you procedures are written in a way that allows you to utilize 2nd or 3rd party audits as part of your internal auditing program. You would need to make a provision if you plan to do this.

A month or so ago, there was a pretty good thread discussing whether or not it was o.k. to use external auditors to satisfy 4.17. Lot's of good debate on the topic, I would suggest reading that thread for specifics. You will need to determine which way you would like to create your auditing program around.

For me a paradox: I believe auditor objectivity is the most important auditor characteristic, independence second. If you believe objectivity is the most important, then I feel you could use 2nd and 3rd party audit results (provided your procedures say so). If you believe auditor independence is most important, then you would be of the mind that a 1st party audit is different from a 2nd or 3rd party audit. The ISO standard mentions the word independent in it. If this is the case, then I would agree with your second post that external audits are not internal audits and the use of external audit reports as a supplement (complimentary, definately) is not advised. Sorry to be so wishy-washy on the answer, but I am still gathering information to put me on one side of the fence or the other. Back to the group...
 

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
#5
I forgot you were QS....sorry...I agree with kevin, if they are doing the audit while accompanying, i see no reason why not. Also the reason for the external audit controversy is that you have no control of the audit scope and the qualification of the auditor for external audits.
 

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
#6
Consultants are internal as they have the interest of the company in mind, not a customer or independant body, they are hired by the company for the company and are infact working for the company therefore internal..and under the company's control.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#7
Barb pretty well addressed the issue with her last statement. That's a 'I wish I'd said it that simply' statement.
 

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member
Admin
#8
Barb,

Your last post was well stated. This reason pretty much causes my dilemna. Consultants are hired by the company, work with their program, and as long as they are integritous, are objective and independent. I agree with your statement. So I guess what I need to know is if anyone has personal experiences with different Registrars where this was or was not an issue on a registration or surveillence audit? I would be interested in what transpired (or what did not). Did the auditors pick this up and question your logic? Back to the group...
 
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