Internal auditor competence assessment

#1
I'm trying to develop an internal auditor competence assessment and wanted see what others are using to assess their trainees. Any examples would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!!

-Dave
 
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Mike S.

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#3
For internal auditors new to auditing, during and after training we role play. At the end I give them a procedure document to audit me against and usually I ensure there is at least one NC, so they need to identify that and document that properly. Then initially I assign them the easier audits and review their first few audit reports. I've done structured tests before too, but the last few people I made it more practical.
 

Thee Bouyyy

Multiple Personalities
#4
Hi, @dcwong Welcome to the Cove!

To evaluate internal auditor competency, we are doing following things:

1. An Independent audit for particular department - This can be consider as one type of test also. This is pretty traditional and efficient way to assess technical and theoretical knowledge.
2. Self-assessment questionnaires - We have some per-defined questionnaires that auditor need to fill by himself after the completing the audit and submitting report to the Top Management. It shows their abilities and self-perception. This method should be used in combination with some other, more objective one as it can be too optimistic or too pessimistic.
3. Feedback from the Teammates - Ask teammates to share their feedback on each other's performance (P.S.: Take care sometimes it goes to personal) and see if each of them can do his/her job on a good level.
4. Practical knowledge - The most efficient way to train and assess skills - nothing can be better than practice. If you are sure in high qualification of an auditor, you can put them in real life conditions to challenge them and check their proficiency.

To sum up, It is up to you to choose the best method. Combination of a few of them would be great set. Also, look at this thread . Experts posted their views on the same subject. It might be helpful for you. Thanks.
 

AMIT BALLAL

Super Moderator
#5
I am assuming you are a trainer. If you are an external trainer, please go with suggestions of @Mike S. (I would add exams at the end of the training, if not included already).

If the trainees are internal, additionally you can witness their audits, verify their audit reports, NC closure records to check competence.
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Leader
Admin
#7
Welcome Dave!

Let us first refer to the ISO 9000 definition of competence:
3.10.4
competence
ability to apply knowledge and skills to achieve intended results
I think we can all agree that there is more than one type of competency for auditing.
  • Understanding of the standard
  • Understanding of organization's procedures
  • Understanding of customer requirements/how to find them
  • Understanding how the standard applies to the organization
  • Ability to recognize conformance or nonconformance
  • Ability to communicate verbally
  • Ability to ask open questions and "research" for true issues
  • Ability to "connect" with auditees so as to not overly intimidate them (there will always be some level of performance anxiety)
  • Ability to write an accurate, coherent and actionable nonconformity statement
  • If an owner of the nonconformity, ability to recognize when to "push back" for more depth in cause analysis and CAPA
Anything else?

All of this is why taking a test is not enough. You were rightly advised to ensure the trainee is observed through the entire process, then given simple assignments at first while gaining experience and confidence.

Do not be afraid to recognize when someone is not correct for this role. Not everyone is well suited for auditing. Some of the skills, such as verbal communication and the ability to research questions (dig deeper) are not equally present in all people. So I suggest you start with persons who you believe already possess some of the above soft skills.

I hope this helps.
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Leader
Admin
#8
The building blocks of (internal) auditor competence are well defined in ISO 19011 and, let’s remember, auditor competence is never an attribute; certainly a wide range variable. An auditor can be extremely well versed and knowledgeable in the requirements but if s/he lacks communication skills, competence will be affected.
 
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