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ISO 14001 Internal Audit Requirements

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Dominic701

#1
We are in automotive and downsized so we are looking for ways to get things done with fewer resources. Sound familiar? :frust:

During one calendar year are we required to audit ALL elements of ISO 14001 during our Internal Audits?
 
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Sidney Vianna

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#2
During one calendar year are we required to audit ALL elements of ISO 14001 during our Internal Audits?
ISO 14001:2004 does not require that, however, it does require your internal audit procedure to determine responsibility for planning of your internal audits.
 
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Dominic701

#3
What is the minimum requirement for internal audit frequency regarding ISO 14001 elements? We have an internal audit schedule that currently requires we audit all elements annually.

I have the same question for our Process Audits and TS. What is the minimum requirement for internal audit frequency of TS processes. Again our audit schedule requires us to audit all processes annually.

Can you also answer the TS question?

Do you know where I can get a copy of what the minimum requirements for internal audit frequency is for 14001 elements and TS process?
 
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#4
What is the minimum requirement for internal audit frequency regarding ISO 14001 elements? We have an internal audit schedule that currently requires we audit all elements annually.

I have the same question for our Process Audits and TS. What is the minimum requirement for internal audit frequency of TS processes. Again our audit schedule requires us to audit all processes annually.

Can you also answer the TS question?

Do you know where I can get a copy of what the minimum requirements for internal audit frequency is for 14001 elements and TS process?
Do you have copies of the internal audit requirements from each of these standards? There is no 'ISO' requirement for a minimum frequency of audits, ever. Your CB might have some expectation - check your contract.

In most cases, you have to pick a frequency and your audit program - a number of audits - must be based on status and importance.

Quite frankly, the idea of covering 'all the elements' etc. every year is bogus for an internal audit program. We have to get over and passed the emulation of CB audits and their auditors. If it was a requirement to do this, it would be in the standard, wouldn't it? If your audit program is process focused and you plan effectively, you'll pretty much cover the entire system, anyways.

Take a look at my process based 'football' planning tool (it's a pdf file in the attachments). Even with the one, simple example, everything in the 'bubbles' is a requirement of the standard and I've shown nearly 50 - 60% of the requirements, right there. It could be modified to include the EMS requirements too.
 

Sidney Vianna

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#5
Dominic, being as direct as I can: the goal seems to be what is the least amount of internal audits you can do, while still maintaining your ISO 14001 and TS 16949 certificates in good standing.

Your best bet, as Andy inferred, is: go straight to your CB and ask them the question. At the end of the day, they are the ones that will have to approve your minimalist plan. Theirs is the only response that really matters in this case.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#6
Here is what is actually required........


4.5.5 Internal audit
The organization shall ensure that internal audits of the environmental management system are conducted at planned intervals to

a) determine whether the environmental management system

1) conforms to planned arrangements for environmental management including the requirements of this International Standard, and

2) has been properly implemented and is maintained,


The audit has to be of the system and the system is composed of all the requirements of ISO 14001.

Where's the problem and what is there that needs to be interpreted?

Quit interpreting and do what is states you must do.
 

Sidney Vianna

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#7
Where's the problem and what is there that needs to be interpreted?

Quit interpreting and do what is states you must do.
I don't understand. Are you saying that interpretations are not needed in order to conform to generic management system standards?
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#8
In this case, yeah. Where the problem?

It says "internal audits" not audit

It says "planned intervals" not one time

It says "conform to planned arrangements" that's covered in 4.4.4 and other places

It says "properly implemented" Did you do what you planned to do?

It says "maintained" Are you keeping it up to date?


The words speak for themselves (especially if you use the glossary in the front of the standard)
 

Sidney Vianna

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#9
In this case, yeah. Where the problem?
SNIP....
The words speak for themselves (especially if you use the glossary in the front of the standard)
If generic standards did not need to be interpreted for the specific issuess of each organization, and the words "spoke for themselves", why do we need courses on ISO 14001 (or any other generic management system standard)? Why do organizations such as ISO issue interpretations? Why do we have ISO 14001 interpretation documents?

As an example, planned intervals, if an organization describes in their procedures that they will conduct an internal audit every 15 years, would that be acceptable to a CB? If a CB states that they would not accept that long interval, what would they base their disapproval on?
 
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Dominic701

#10
We are a niche company in the automotive industry that has been very stable and growing for over 50 years but this economy has really hurt us.

Our problem is we were 283 people. Now we are 180 people. So the Internal Audit Teams consisted of 30 plus people certified / trained Internal Auditors.

Since we HAD the resources, we developed a very comprehensive Internal Audit Plan-Schedule that was religiously followed for years. It audited all the elements of ISO 14001 and all our 20 plus TS processes annually.

Now we do not have the resources so need to re-evaluate our Audit Plan - Schedule.

There appears to be no specific answer to my initial questions. It is very open to interpretation as I suspected.

The best direction so far is to talk to our Registrar regarding their requirements and expectations.

Please advise if you have further specific recommendations
 
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