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Same auditor shouldn't do two consecutive Internal Audits on same Process/Procedure?

M

Meggsy

#1
Hi Guys,

I am looking after the QA area of my branch (~30 people), and do 4 Internal Audits each month (each one looking at a different Process or Procedure), each Process or Procedure being audited once per year. I have someone else audit me on the Document Control, Management Review and Internal Audit processes, since I look after these and can't really audit myself.

It has been suggested to me that I shouldn't do two consecutive Internal Audits on the same Process/Procedure, and that we should have a group of auditors on rotation. Everyone else here (including me!) is very busy, and I doubt I'd get the buy-in to ask others to do regular audits.

Does anyone know if this is the case? I have looked through AS19011, but this mostly seems to refer to certification-type audits, and not the informal compliance audits that we conduct. We certainly don't have teams doing audits here, what we look at is too minor to require that.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Colin

Quite Involved in Discussions
#2
Re: Same auditor shouldn't do two consecutive Internal Audits on same Process/Procedu

There is no requirement regarding someone doing consecutive audits on a process. It would be 'nice to have' someone different so that you get a different perspective but this is not practical for many organisations.

If there is the option to 'rotate' auditors, I would recommend that you do as you get different opinions depending on whether the auditor's own process is 'upstream' or 'downstream' or not connected to the process being audited. If it is not an option, just carry on auditing!
 
A

Al Hector

#3
Re: Same auditor shouldn't do two consecutive Internal Audits on same Process/Procedu

I agree with Colpart.

You are doing ok now, if you have the competence to do the audit, you follow your audit program and you don’t audit your own work.

May I ask who made this suggestion?

Of course that you can build a team of auditor who can audit by rotation different processes, but there is no requirement to do so.

All the best!
Alin
 
#4
Re: Same auditor shouldn't do two consecutive Internal Audits on same Process/Procedu

We seem to agree that this is a crazy suggestion! Meggsy, it sounds like you might be doing too much - too many audits, but it's difficult to tell. I only think it sounds like too much.

However, to answer your fundamental question - it is a good idea to do consecutive audits! You were there at the first audit, you can best decide what has happened since! The idea of 'fresh eyes' is a nice one, but not for an internal audit! Some organizations like to rotate their CB auditors, but for internal auditors is unrealistic and you will lose a lot of knowledge of particular issues etc.

Don't do it - but you might want to take a look at how many audits are being done and change the focus........
 
Last edited:

Randy

Super Moderator
#5
Re: Same auditor shouldn't do two consecutive Internal Audits on same Process/Procedu

Not do 2 consecutive audits of the same process or activty? If that were true then 99.999% of my audit work would be invalid as it would almost be for all CB auditors.

Listen to Andy and Colpart and tell whoever to stick to their area of expertise 'cause auditing doesn't seem to be it.
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#6
Re: Same auditor shouldn't do two consecutive Internal Audits on same Process/Procedu

I do almost all the auditing for my organization, against quality, safety, environmental and calibration lab standards.

The plus to having this is I can run to a thread of incremental improvements. This year I can focus harder on document control, while last year I hit hard on training.

On the flip side, there's something to be said for the "little boy at the parade" factor in having a fresh set of eyes look at a process.

In any case, there is NO requirement for rotation in any standard I have worked with.
 
C

Craig H.

#7
Re: Same auditor shouldn't do two consecutive Internal Audits on same Process/Procedu

This is almost laughable. A case could be made that the same person should audit every time to maintain consistency. Under the proposed criteria we would be in big trouble because I have done every internal audit here for, oh, 10 years or so, except for the QA department, and that has been audited by the same person all that time as well.

We are not in trouble. External audit NCs over the last five years can be counted on one hand.
 
D

DsqrdDGD909

#8
Re: Same auditor shouldn't do two consecutive Internal Audits on same Process/Procedu

Hi Guys,

I am looking after the QA area of my branch (~30 people), and do 4 Internal Audits each month (each one looking at a different Process or Procedure), each Process or Procedure being audited once per year. I have someone else audit me on the Document Control, Management Review and Internal Audit processes, since I look after these and can't really audit myself.

It has been suggested to me that I shouldn't do two consecutive Internal Audits on the same Process/Procedure, and that we should have a group of auditors on rotation. Everyone else here (including me!) is very busy, and I doubt I'd get the buy-in to ask others to do regular audits.

Does anyone know if this is the case? I have looked through AS19011, but this mostly seems to refer to certification-type audits, and not the informal compliance audits that we conduct. We certainly don't have teams doing audits here, what we look at is too minor to require that.

Thanks in advance.

What kind of business? Do you find that the audits are effective at finding nonconformances and improving the system? If so, no requirement to change.

We use 5 auditors here to audit 10 processes (Departments) for 9001 and 3 of the 5 do 14001 as well. I think having them do different areas keeps them fresh and alert and shows the auditees that we are serious about our IA program.
 
M

Migre

#9
Re: Same auditor shouldn't do two consecutive Internal Audits on same Process/Procedu

Whilst I tend to agree with the majority of the replies here, you did state that the initial suggestion was just that - a suggestion? If so, that person's reasoning may echo some points already posted on this thread.

My initial thought (which is, not surprisingly, primarily coloured from my own experience) is to agree that you are fine to carry on as you are. However, there are pros and cons (in many of these examples, flip the pros on their heads to get the cons) to both methods of addressing this:


Same auditor on consecutive audits - pros:

Familiarity with the area of work (Processes, procedures, working practices, staffing levels, hierarchy, current pertinent issues (good or bad), product/service offered etc)

Familiarity with staff (Building good working relationships, confidence etc)

Complete awareness of ongoing non conformances / recommendations / issues identified via audits

Gradual removal of the 'fear factor' (amongst auditees and, on occasion, auditors?) - potentially leading to more productive audits of greater value


Different auditors on consecutive audits - pros:

As previously alluded to, 'a fresh pair of eyes'

In conjunction with the above, potentially more of a need to delve into the 'basics' of the area being audited. A greater willingness to ask what may be perceived as 'stupid questions' (God, I hate that phrase...) may uncover more than the line of questioning taken by someone familiar with the activities being audited (i.e. a more in-depth, informed line of questioning).



At the end of the day, this will depend on a couple of key factors - is the resource available to do this and is it an approach you actually favour? Whichever you opt for, it should be fairly straightforward to convey your feelings to the person who made the suggestion. After all, they didn't state that such a method has to be adopted?
 
#10
Re: Same auditor shouldn't do two consecutive Internal Audits on same Process/Procedu

I'm not sure what is meant by 'fresh eyes'. If you have internal auditors who 'don't see' stuff, there's one or two things going on!

They're either not competent - not 'seeing' something because they don't understand or are inexperienced often comes with the idea that auditors should be 'independent or from another department. If they have been lulled into a sense of security in doing their audits, that's also a competency issue. Auditors should be engaged in planning for their audits to minimize this risk!

And/or they are not being objective and impartial!

Whatever it is, it's an audit management task to deal with it.
 
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