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Informational Internal Audits - Wear multiple hats what can and can't I audit (so I'm not auditing my own work)

Hendor

Involved In Discussions
Yes - I am John from IN...

We are speaking about ISO 9001 and I do understand it is only a framework designed to fit the multitude of businesses out there - any sector; be it manufacturing (which is what we are), healthcare, service based, product based...etc. Being the MR, I was heavily involved in the transition phase from 2008 to 2015 and the shift to risk based thinking was the bulk of the discussions (as were interested parties) but a major offshoot was the removal of the phrase in 8.2.2 "Auditors shall not audit their own work" and kept the more generic phrase that was in the older version (& open for interpretation) 9.2.2(c) "...shall... select auditors and conduct audits to ensure objectivity and the impartiality of the audit process.

I also, understand your point regarding shifting the audit to concentrate on areas that have shown a need for improvement. This is all about continual improvement and I somehow think this auditor felt as though he had to find something or he wouldn't be doing his job. A person can't drive across town with a policeman behind them and not get an infraction if that policeman/woman is intent on writing a ticket. In our industry (finishing) we call it inspecting to accept or inspecting to reject. Obviously, we want our inspectors to inspect to accept but that doesn't mean overlooking obvious reasons to reject. In the same light, auditors can look for conformances or look for non conformances and I think the better auditors look for conformance to the standard rather than trying their best to find a non conformance.
Hi everyone,

Impartiality in internal audits is sometimes a headache for some organizations,

As a contribution, in ISO 9001 Cla. 9.2.2 includes a NOTE, which, as we know, is a mode of guidance for the understanding or clarification of the corresponding requirement, which reads: See Standard ISO 19011 for a guidance mode.

ISO 19011: 2018 textually says in: 4 Audit principles

e) Independence: the basis for the impartiality of the audit and objectivity of the audit conclusions

Auditors should be independent of the activity being audited wherever practicable, and should in all cases act in a manner that is free from bias and conflict of interest. For internal audits, auditors should be independent from the function being audited if practicable. Auditors should maintain objectivity throughout the audit process to ensure that the audit findings and conclusions are based only on the audit evidence.

For small organizations, it may not be possible for internal auditors to be fully independent of the activity being audited, but every effort should be made to remove bias and encourage objectivity.

-----------------

Perhaps this can be useful, to have a broader picture of impartiality
Regards
 
Hi everyone,

Impartiality in internal audits is sometimes a headache for some organizations,

As a contribution, in ISO 9001 Cla. 9.2.2 includes a NOTE, which, as we know, is a mode of guidance for the understanding or clarification of the corresponding requirement, which reads: See Standard ISO 19011 for a guidance mode.

ISO 19011: 2018 textually says in: 4 Audit principles

e) Independence: the basis for the impartiality of the audit and objectivity of the audit conclusions

Auditors should be independent of the activity being audited wherever practicable, and should in all cases act in a manner that is free from bias and conflict of interest. For internal audits, auditors should be independent from the function being audited if practicable. Auditors should maintain objectivity throughout the audit process to ensure that the audit findings and conclusions are based only on the audit evidence.

For small organizations, it may not be possible for internal auditors to be fully independent of the activity being audited, but every effort should be made to remove bias and encourage objectivity.
-----------------

Perhaps this can be useful, to have a broader picture of impartiality
Regards
Thanks - I have that document and sent that exact paragraph in with my dispute. Every effort was & continues to be made to encourage objectivity.

ISO TS/9002:2018 9.2.2 states:

When assigning persons to conduct audits, the organization should ensure objectivity and impartiality of the audit process. In some cases, specifically in smaller organizations or areas of the organization where specific job knowledge is required, it can be necessary for a person to audit their own work. In this situation, the organization might have the internal auditor work with a peer, or have the results reviewed by a peer or a manager, to ensure results are impartial. The organization could also consider obtaining resources from an external provider such as a university, external auditor, or another organization.

We'll see how the dispute unfolds. I was present at all times during the internal audit considering I am the MR. In essence, I could be considered a "peer" or a "manager" but I am also the president over EVERYTHING which, it could be argued, makes it difficult to be impartial/objective so I need an auditor to audit my audit of the internal audit.
 

Stijloor

Staff member
Super Moderator
Dear Cove Colleagues,

As some of you know I am “half-way” retired so I am not as active here anymore. But I took the time to read and study all 15 pages in this thread. Very passionate discussions and in many posts good content including the chill pill thrown in by Marc.

About “auditing your own work”; has anyone looked at the connection between this practice and evidence of shipping/providing non conforming product/service to the customer?

If I was the 3rd Party Auditor, and there’s no evidence of putting the organization and/or the customer at risk, I would not have any issue with it.

Sometimes people get too bogged down in rules and regulations and miss the intent of what auditing is all about.

Wishing you all the best.

Stijloor (Jan)
 
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