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OHSAS 18001 external auditor finding personal interpretation?

Audit Coordinator

Involved In Discussions
Hello All,
We just completed an external audit of the OHSAS 18001:2007 standard for our company. The external auditor found numerous minor findings one of which I believe is not justified.
The auditor states that our Internal Audit Procedure does not address when the audit schedule is to be developed.

So, I have created the internal audit schedule a month or more before the new fiscal year with regularity; no gaps. We have never missed having a schedule before the new fiscal year begins. Also, our procedure states ways in which we schedule internal audits and when they will be conducted. It has passed the OHSAS external audits in the past, with no findings in regards to our procedure or practice.
Below is a snippet of a portion of our Internal Audit Procedure:

So, we are thinking of refuting this nonconformance. I'd like to know what others think about this first.
Last edited:

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
Take another look at your documented procedure 10018 rev 4 clause 5.1.2.

It correctly requires you to vary the frequency of audit according to audit results. Is this what the auditor means by “developed”? Did the auditor ask for evidence that you had done this? How did you respond?

We are both having to guess because the nonconformity statement is incomplete and unclear (especially re the source of the requirement “developed”).

So, you could reject it on those grounds to see if it comes back with a nonconformity statement we can take seriously.

Audit Coordinator

Involved In Discussions
Thank you for your response!
No, the auditor did not ask for evidence if we had changed the audit frequency due to audit results and if he had, we could show an example as evidence.
The auditor stated that we need to have a statement in our procedure to address when the audit schedule is to be developed.

I do not see this specific requirement of saying "when you will develop the audit schedule", in the standard. Seems silly and nit picky and there has never been an issue of it not being developed, say, by creating one after the year has begun, schedule creation being behind, or something like that. Having an internal audit schedule which is up-to-date and functioning, from the beginning of the fiscal year to the end of the year, to me, shows that we are compliant to this requirement.

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
So, reject it for failing to clearly identify the requirement in the standard or your procedure to develop the internal audit schedule.

Please let us know here how it goes.

Many thanks.

Audit Coordinator

Involved In Discussions
Thanks John.
Even though I have only your response thus far, with good credibility, I will assume that others would have the same opinion as you and I will support rejecting it back to the auditor.
Our corrections need to be submitted by the end of December at which time, they will be evaluated as to whether or not we have come into compliance with all his minor nonconformances. So it will be sometime in January before we hear back regarding this situation.
I will report back after we have had a response.


Super Moderator
Naa, 5.1.2 leaves variance of frequency up to the Lead Audit Coordinator and says "MAY" meaning you can in you wanna.

5.1.2 is not an absolute and allows for a decision to or not to.

Contest it.
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