ISO 14001 9.2.2 Internal Audit Programme Content

Raffy

Quite Involved in Discussions
#1
Hi everyone,
Greetings in the name of Peace and Prosperity!
Currently i am contemplating regarding the requirements of ISO14001:2015 9.2.2
... when establishing the internal audit programme, the organization shall take into consideration the
environmental importance of the processes concerned. My question, How am I going to translate
this requirement to be included in the audit program? Please advice.
Thank you very much in advance.
Best,
Raffy
 
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John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
Your organization has processes that impact the environment significantly as determined by your risk assessments. These impacts may be beneficial or adverse. Your organization will be counting on some of these processes to deliver on its objectives and targets. Naturally top management has priorities and would want impartial reporting on how well these processes are delivering.

So, as with any other processes in your organization you’ll adjust your audit program according to the importance, reliability and newness or status of these processes.

You may specify your own criteria, for example:

1. Audit every process at least once a year
2. Audit the critical processes every quarter
3. Audit the new processes within their first month of operation
4. Adjust the frequency according audit results

Use these criteria to set up your audit program and adjust as you learn

Under no circumstances allow audit to replace day to day monitoring and supervision.
 

Raffy

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
Hi John,
Thank you for your immediate reply.
This is a BIG help on my part, as I am currently developing our audit program for EMS.
Again, thank you very much.
Best,
Raffy
 
#5
Your organization has processes that impact the environment significantly as determined by your risk assessments. These impacts may be beneficial or adverse. Your organization will be counting on some of these processes to deliver on its objectives and targets. Naturally top management has priorities and would want impartial reporting on how well these processes are delivering.

So, as with any other processes in your organization you’ll adjust your audit program according to the importance, reliability and newness or status of these processes.

You may specify your own criteria, for example:

1. Audit every process at least once a year
2. Audit the critical processes every quarter
3. Audit the new processes within their first month of operation
4. Adjust the frequency according audit results

Use these criteria to set up your audit program and adjust as you learn

Under no circumstances allow audit to replace day to day monitoring and supervision.
Mabuhay!
I am also interested in this topic on the appropriate way of addressing the Internal Audit Programme requirement.
I agree with the criteria.
I would like to confirm the following:
1. External auditors I have met always look for a calendar where the planned internal audits are plotted either on a specific month
or quarter. Then if the audit is postponed, it would warrant a nonconformity for not implementing the activity based on planned
arrangements. I would like to avoid this kind of nonconformity if the auditor has just misinterpreted the standard.
The criteria for the IA programme you have mentioned have been actually stated in our procedure so I believe I may have conformed to
the standard without the internal audit "calendar".

Hope you can enlighten me on this one. Thanks in advance.
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#6
Try specifying the month when the scheduled audit must be completed instead of the exact date.

This then gives your auditor, while planning their audit, the flexibility to agree the most convenient time with the auditee reps.

By making your requirement more realistic (under local control) you will see fewer of these types of nonconformity.
 
#7
Try specifying the month when the scheduled audit must be completed instead of the exact date.

This then gives your auditor, while planning their audit, the flexibility to agree the most convenient time with the auditee reps.

By making your requirement more realistic (under local control) you will see fewer of these types of nonconformity.
Hi John! Thanks for the suggestion.

Actually our original schedule is per month and has no exact date. I have seen this in several examples.
I have actually revised in to reflect what quarter (the month is still restrictive for me) in a year it should be performed.

However, due to the pandemic, the plan has been postponed again. In my opinion, this type of schedule had been very restrictive for us.
Although, I am confident that we could perform it within the year as planned.

I reviewed the standard and based on what I have found in the various threads in this forum, the following is my understanding:

1. (9.2.2)....shall establish, implement and maintain an internal audit programme, including the frequency, methods, responsibilities, planning requirements and reporting of its internal audits

We already have an Internal audit procedure outlining the above requirements on frequency, methods, responsibilities, planning requirements and reporting of audit results.

2. (9.2.2)...shall retain documented information as evidence of the implementation of the audit programme and the audit results

I have a calendar plotting the COMPLETED audits and internal audit reports as evidence for the audit programme implementation

Question: 1) Can I exclude my calendar of PLANNED audits since I could conform to the standard requirements without it?
2) Are postponed planned internal audits warrant a nonconformity?

Thank you for your patience.
 
#9
Why exactly has the pandemic stopped your internal audits?
Mabuhay John!

It has not actually stopped the internal audit. We were just forced to postpone it.
And am I correct that failure to conform to planned arrangements is a nonconformity?

I have scheduled it for the 2nd Quarter (April-June). Every after our annual plant maintenance in March.

Unfortunately, we were forced to extend the plant shutdown maintenance until May due to the following reasons:
limited movement of our maintenance personnel coming from other areas, government-imposed short term stoppage/lockdown
to combat the pandemic, etc. These caused us to be busy to proceed with the schedule within April-June.

Eventually, we completed the internal audit this September-October.

I was just hoping that this is one area where I could simplify our EMS by not getting unnecessary NCs.

Thanks.
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#10
And am I correct that failure to conform to planned arrangements is a nonconformity?
It depends. Often our plans ignore real life but your risk-based thinking may have prompted you to add a note under the plan that says something like this:

"The Quality Manager has the authority to delay an audit once or twice with due consideration for operational changes provided the audit is rescheduled."

This, in effect, is what you have done. Make a note of what impact, if any, this delay had on the environment.
 
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