Number of people to be interviewed during an internal audit?

dsantos24

Starting to get Involved
#1
How do you determine how many people should be interviewed during an internal department/process audit? Let say the department has 100 employees?
 
Elsmar Forum Sponsor
#2
You don't. You define the scope and criteria of the audit first. That will give you an indication. Since the fashionable thing to do its audit a process, that will inform whom you speak with, along with the scope and criteria. Are you planning on auditing a process? Departments have many processes.
 

Mikey324

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
As stated above, this department has 100 people. Are the all performing the same process? I would assume all 100 are not working on the same line, for example. if the department consists of multiple processes (blanking, stamping, milling, etc) you would want to audit those processes within the department.
Each would have their own scope. What are the inputs? What are the planned objectives? Are they being accomplished? If not, what was done? Did it work?
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#4
Do what gives you a warm fuzzy, 1, 5, 10 whatever.... How much time do you have will many times dictate the number.

Also what do you plan to ask? Don't ask stuff that they can't reasonably answer and you'd better know the ballpark answer before you ask the question to start with.
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#5
How do you determine how many people should be interviewed during an internal department/process audit?
The basic expectation is that the sample selected is representative of the population; however, the sample size and composition should also take into account the criticality of the process being assessed. For more information, you can peruse Annex A of ISO 19011 for additional guidance on judgement based and statistical sampling in management system auditing.

Using your example, if these 100 people were doing all the same thing, my judgement tells me that interviewing 10 would be representative, but, assuming these 100 people are responsible for different sub processes, the number would be different.

Screenshot 2021-08-14 152127.jpg
 
#6
Since this is an internal audit, it's going to depend on the reason for the audit and hence the scope. The "sample" may be one or two people, even in a department of 100. If, for example, you want to find out about a specific issue which happened in processing, that might only have been touched by 3 people. There would be no "sample". Go and talk to all three.
 
#7
If I was unfamiliar with a particular audit or area I would observe the area from afar for a bit. See who is doing what, which departments were interacting etc. It would sometimes give me a better idea of who to approach especially if something seemed off.
 
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