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ISO 9001 Checklist Type Internal Audit Forms?

J

Justqual

#1
Hi guys,
As part of our continuous improvement programme, the external auditor has suggested changing our internal audit forms to checklists. Personally i'm not sure if this is conducive with encouraging thorough audits. Won't it mean that my auditors will become lazy, i.e. just ticking boxes instead of investigating processes?
Does anybody else have any experience with or opinions on this?
 
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Colin

Quite Involved in Discussions
#2
It depends on how detailed you make the checklists. If you write out the questions for people to ask then yes, they will get lazy and the auditees will know what questions will be asked and you run the risk of getting very weak audits done.

However, if the checklists contain 'topics' around which the auditor asks his/her own questions, I think it can be very useful. Just avoid letting the auditor use exactly the same checklist as the previous audit if you can.
 
J

Justqual

#3
It depends on how detailed you make the checklists. If you write out the questions for people to ask then yes, they will get lazy and the auditees will know what questions will be asked and you run the risk of getting very weak audits done.

However, if the checklists contain 'topics' around which the auditor asks his/her own questions, I think it can be very useful. Just avoid letting the auditor use exactly the same checklist as the previous audit if you can.
Yes it is the repetition I wish to avoid, so like you say "topics" or "areas for discussion" may be a better way forward.
 

Colin

Quite Involved in Discussions
#4
I think so. I rarely put specific questions on them such as 'can I see a copy of form ***?' Instead, I would have a topic referring to form *** and then consider the old favourites Who, What, Why, Where, When, How. I wouldn't necessarily ask all 6 but they are there to use if appropriate.

It encourages auditors to explore the topic rather than just read questions.
 
#5
The way to stop auditors from become disengaged is to make them plan their audit and review their notes/checklist/post it notes or whatever they choose. If you want to stop the audit being repetitive, don't 'give' a checklist to them.

Auditing is a bit like a shopping trip. Make your shopping list for the actual shopping trip objective. If you review it with each individual auditor, you'll get an idea if they actually have a clue about what they're going to be doing...


BTW - your auditor is off in suggesting such a thing - I don't consider a checklist to be an improvement! Just the sort of thing a 'weenie' (I think the Americans call them) would suggest as an improvement!
 

Mikishots

Trusted Information Resource
#6
Hi guys,
As part of our continuous improvement programme, the external auditor has suggested changing our internal audit forms to checklists. Personally i'm not sure if this is conducive with encouraging thorough audits. Won't it mean that my auditors will become lazy, i.e. just ticking boxes instead of investigating processes?
Does anybody else have any experience with or opinions on this?

We used to use detailed checklists a number of years ago, but of course, we found them to not be effective; our auditors would stop once they received an answer to that question and move on. A reply we often heard from them when asking why they didn't investigate a certain aspect of the process was "it wasn't on the checklist".

That's not auditing. An eight-year-old can do that.

Our new "checklist" has nine sections in it:

1. Process Steps
2. Process Outputs
3. Process Inputs
4. With What? (Facilities/Equipment/Material...)
5. With Who? (Personnel, Training Requirements...)
6. How? (Support Processes, Sequence, Interaction, SOP/Methods/WI...)
7. Measures - Process Effectiveness (Target, Performance)
8. Measures - Process Efficiency (Target, Performance)
9. Items to follow up.

Yep, it's a Turtle. And it works. Oh, there was some grumbling and whining about how much more work and how "inefficient" it was. Those who couldn't accept the reason for the change and the value that it would bring to the organization were transferred within a month.
 
J

JaneB

#9
Hi guys,
As part of our continuous improvement programme, the external auditor has suggested changing our internal audit forms to checklists. Personally i'm not sure if this is conducive with encouraging thorough audits. Won't it mean that my auditors will become lazy, i.e. just ticking boxes instead of investigating processes?
Does anybody else have any experience with or opinions on this?
I have strong opinons, but I'd like to know more first.

What kind of 'audit form' are you using now? What's on it?

What kind of 'checklist' are you envisaging? How would it differ?
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#10
I have the same questions as Jane posted. :agree:

I will meanwhile refer you to a thread titled ISO 9001 Audit Checklist Excel .xls Template where I attached a turtle notes in Excel format. You can also see related threads linked at the bottom of this page.

When I started at my place I used the detailed "Ask this, record that" checklists we had on file, which external auditors seemed to be asking for when they want to know if we have special checklists prepared for processes. What I am thinking is they want to avoid the canned element-by-element type of checklist that does not facilitate the process approach to auditing.

I soon went cross-eyed trying to follow those prepared checklists and abandoned them in favor of the turtle notes, which external auditors have been fine with.

P.S. If an external auditor "suggested" an xyz-type checklist as a part of continual improvement, I would object - it sounds like consulting to me. :whip:
 
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