New to performing internal audits - Looking for audit questions


Charlie H

First off I hope this is in the forum.

I'm new to performing internal audits and only have two real audits and one practice one under my belt. The two real ones were both in a manufacturing area. I believe we will be performing an audit in the Purchasing and or Sales department(s) soon.

My questions are:
What types of questions have you (who ever answers) asked?
What do I look for in contract reviews?

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Re: Looking for audit questions

First thing I do is look over the instructions (hopefully they exist) or procedures, and see if they address the requirements.

When looking at a procedure I often come up with questions based on what it says, even if it's only "please show me this." I also ask about what seems to be missing, such as "What happens if we can't do all the customer is asking for? - what do we do?" Look for:

- How people know what to do
- how do you know the information being worked to is current
- what happens to start the process (inputs)
- the process steps
- the end result (outputs)
- training and education that makes people ready to do the work
- records of what happened, especially communications
- tools like software or manuals.

What standard are you auditing to?
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Charlie H

Re: Looking for audit questions

ISO9001/AS9100 and I'm not sure if or how but coming soon 14001 (we are currently seeking implmentation).


Quite Involved in Discussions
What questions to ask? - any that you feel will help you to establish that they are doing what the system says they will (i.e. following procedures), that these activities meet the appropriate clauses of the standard (7.2) and that the activities are effective in helping to meet the department's objectives.

What I don't recommend is simply asking for lots of documents. It should be an interactive process where you ask the auditee to tell you what they do and then check the documents to demonstrate they they do comply.

As for contract review, in a nutshell:

How do we know what the customer is asking for?
Can we meet those requirements?
How do we handle amendments to orders?
How do we communicate with customers before, during and after the order?
How do we handle feedback, including complaints?

In all of the above, there should be evidence available to demonstrate what they actually do, as opposed to what they and the procedure says they do.


Moved On
This topic has been covered at length, however, in a nutshell:

What's the process?
What's the objective?
How's the process measured?
How is it performing to objective right now?
What are your actions to correct/improve performance?

Don't forget, you have to study beforehand. You should already have a good idea what the process, objectives etc are. When you get answers you an compare that to what you already know. If there's a difference, you can find out why and if it's significant. If not, it must be OK.


What is the purpose/objective for conducting Internal Audit?

Verification whether one is meeting the requirements of the standards as

documented in the Quality Manual,looking at procedures,work

instructions,forms and formats and finally records as an evidence of


When an auditor goes to a particular dept the documentation related to

the dept is seen and then compliance verified with regards to what is

stated as a mark of committment.

The questions asked are the 5 Ws and 1 H and finally SHOW ME the

records as a documentary evidence to come to the conclusion whether

there is compliance or not.

As an auditor have a firm belief that, Internal Audit is a very important

tool and if a strong Internal Audit is done it helps the organisation

tremendously and has to lead to continual improvement.
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