Number of Internal Auditors Best Practice

Dan M

Involved In Discussions
#1
I am a quality manager / lead auditor at a company with seven manufactufing sites approximately 350 employees. We would like to form a new internal audit team to audit our quality and HSE management systems. Is there a best practice to determine a recommended number of internal auditors based on the number of facilities and employees?
 
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Reg Morrison

#3
Is there a best practice to determine a recommended number of internal auditors based on the number of facilities and employees?
Not that I know of, not even in ISO 19011. But in a multi-site situation, I would try to qualify at least one or two people from each site to support the internal audit effort.

So, nobody feels left out.

PS. also, if you scroll down the page, you will find at least four similar threads on this topic.
 
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normzone

Trusted Information Resource
#4
I've rarely felt like I had too many. Some of your promising prospects will turn out to be ineffective for one reason or another. Some of your best performers will burn out or get overloaded with other tasks and retire. Some of your team will remain dependable work horses that can do specific audits but aren't up to dealing with more complex audits.

I view it as developing a sports team - you always want to have relievers and second, third string talent in the pipeline.
 

Ajit Basrur

Staff member
Admin
#5
I am a quality manager / lead auditor at a company with seven manufactufing sites approximately 350 employees. We would like to form a new internal audit team to audit our quality and HSE management systems. Is there a best practice to determine a recommended number of internal auditors based on the number of facilities and employees?
Great question !

As mentioned by others, there is no magical equation / formula but remember to include appropriate and sufficient members based on their knowledge, skills and competencies.
 

Mikishots

Trusted Information Resource
#6
I am a quality manager / lead auditor at a company with seven manufactufing sites approximately 350 employees. We would like to form a new internal audit team to audit our quality and HSE management systems. Is there a best practice to determine a recommended number of internal auditors based on the number of facilities and employees?
The number required is the number need to ensure that the identified processes are effectively audited within the specified timeline.
 

Illek

Involved In Discussions
#7
The more important thing is to pick the right people.

We requested 10 auditors for training. We have multiple internal audits for multiple departments so we wanted 1 from different departments. The people chosen were Leads but always very busy. Too busy in fact. Every time I tried to get a couple of them for audits they may not have even been in the country. One year later I am struggling to get more auditors trained. Auditors who will be available.
I say don't just base it on a number of people, base it one the right people.

My 2cents.
illek
 
#9
I am a quality manager / lead auditor at a company with seven manufactufing sites approximately 350 employees. We would like to form a new internal audit team to audit our quality and HSE management systems. Is there a best practice to determine a recommended number of internal auditors based on the number of facilities and employees?
Dan. It's not a number anyone can give you. There are other things you need to figure out first. Even with a multi site org. like yours 2 auditors - competent, full time auditors - might be enough. It's also dependent on complexity of processes, their "status and importance", the audit criteria you use, regulatory requirements and so on. Any number given is both right and, at the same time, wrong. So, best to do this: Define your auditors competencies. Start with whether you have people who understand all facets of your business - from sales, through to shipping etc. Ensure you have the basics covered too. Then take a look at what you have to audit in the coming 30 days and determine scope and criteria. Figure how much time it MIGHT take to do the audit. Then see who you have who is competent, speak with their management to get them released to do the audit and schedule it. (this is assuming they know basic blocking and tackling of auditing) Be prepared to adjust time/duration based on experience.
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#10
I am a quality manager / lead auditor at a company with seven manufactufing sites approximately 350 employees. We would like to form a new internal audit team to audit our quality and HSE management systems. Is there a best practice to determine a recommended number of internal auditors based on the number of facilities and employees?
Dan,

Start with gaining the agreement of top management to the objectives of your internal audit programme.

You may then have the authority to select 5-10% of the employees from a diagonal cross-section of your organization.

These employees should demonstrate the behaviors* recommended for auditors by ISO 19011 otherwise you are wasting your money and their time in training them to become excellent auditors.

Bear in mind that your auditor's first two or three audits should be used to develop and evaluate their competence so pair up with your auditors until you've verified their competence.

Lastly, watch out for burn-out and the opposite so ensure the auditors do no more that one audit a month and no less than one audit every three months. After all, audit should be a part-time job.

John

*search the Cove using the keywords 19011 and recommended behaviors.
 
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