Selecting ISO 9001:2000 Internal Auditors

L

little__cee

#1
Selecting Internal Auditors

Our company achieved ISO 9001:2000 registration in April 2003. We selected Internal Auditing Teams ~November 2002 and those Internal Auditors are still in place.

I've been asked the question recently by an Internal Auditor "Hey, how long do I have to DO this, anyways?"

Good question. I started here a few weeks ago and have learned that no one thought up any sort of rotation program for choosing new Internal Auditors.

I would like to know how other companies do this. Or do you stick your original team with audit responsibility for life (ha, ha, ha). I plan on asking Department Supervisors to nominate people and then have the outgoing teams train the incoming teams for a few months (work on audits together, etc) before switching to the new "team".

Any thoughts? This is all new to me and I've been baptized by fire going through our first (successful!) surveillance audit. Thanks. :)
 
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RoxaneB

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#2
Welcome to the Cove, little_cee and congrats on the successful external audit! :bigwave:

If I were you, I would raise this with your Top Management and get their feedback. What do they expect from their Internal Auditors? Getting nominations from Supervisors and Managers is a great idea! They know their people and they probably know who would be excellent auditors.

There is a thread in here about where companies find their Intenal Auditors...that might be a good place for you to read up on.

But, for my Organization, mandatory Internal Auditors are:

  • Quality Assurance
  • Quality Control Superintendent
  • Supervisors-In-Training (until they complete their training - approximately 2-3 years)
  • Process Engineers and Process Engineers-In-Training
  • Routine Facilitiators
  • Improvement Facilitators

I also have volunteers from Top Management, Administration, Stores, and Engineering.

Keep in mind that you don't want to rotate your Auditor pool too quickly. The quality of the audits will improve as your Auditors become more comfortable with the Standard and their role. If you change the Auditors frequently, you will never have a group of people who are truly comfortable with auditing.

So, for me, the only rotation occurs with the volunteers and they are "retired" from the pool only when they are unable to fulfill their auditing obligations. Some of them really enjoy auditing! It gives them wonderful exposure to areas of the facility that they don't normally get to venture into. Those that don't like it, I do what I can to retire them as quickly as possible. Auditors are "Ambassadors of the Management System" and it does no one any good if they go in with the wrong attitude.
 
R

Rob Nix

#3
Yes, Welcome to the Cove! :bigwave:

I agree with RCB. It is more important to have qualified auditors, that know how to effectively audit, than to cycle many people through it. If there are those that are complaining ("Hey, how long do I have to DO this, anyways?"), then perhaps they need to be replaced by someone who is not only qualified, but wants to do it.

I do most of our auditing (lead) but use personnel from purchasing, project management, and administration. Each of them do a very good job, but I am always open to recommendations and volunteers.
 
#5
Hullo little_cee and welcome to the Cove :bigwave:

You know... That's a good first post. :agree: We have been discussing the topic at length several times (Have a look at the links Richard provided and look through the Audit Forum), but there is aways reason to do it again, since it is pretty crucial for the long time effort.

little__cee said:
I've been asked the question recently by an Internal Auditor "Hey, how long do I have to DO this, anyways?"
---X---
I've been baptized by fire going through our first (successful!) surveillance audit.
We aim to keep our auditors as long as they are "able and willing", but we also keep looking for new victims... er... candidates all the time. Newbies make their first audits in the secure company of old hands. We have enough auditors (14 auditors out of 360 employees at the moment) to be able to keep the number of audits for each auditor on a comfortable level and not wear them out.

Congratulations on your successful audit btw.

/Claes
 
#6
little__cee said:
Our company achieved ISO 9001:2000 registration in April 2003. We selected Internal Auditing Teams ~November 2002 and those Internal Auditors are still in place.

I've been asked the question recently by an Internal Auditor "Hey, how long do I have to DO this, anyways?"

Good question. I started here a few weeks ago and have learned that no one thought up any sort of rotation program for choosing new Internal Auditors.

I would like to know how other companies do this. Or do you stick your original team with audit responsibility for life (ha, ha, ha). I plan on asking Department Supervisors to nominate people and then have the outgoing teams train the incoming teams for a few months (work on audits together, etc) before switching to the new "team".

Any thoughts? This is all new to me and I've been baptized by fire going through our first (successful!) surveillance audit. Thanks. :)
Let me jump in and also say Welcome! :bigwave:

As far as your question, I think most others have covered it pretty well. I would like you to consider two additional things:
1) have everyone trained as internal auditors. the audits should improve by doing so.
2) have me do all of the training. Okay, just kidding. You can train them yourselves, as time permits.

Keep up the good posts.
 

Cari Spears

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
#7
Welcome cee!

When I started working here 3 years ago, I inherited a team of 10 or so auditors. We employ about 65 people total. I found that more than half of them hated it and/or were the busiest people in the shop (estimators, dept. supervisors) - and frankly we didn't need that many. I immediately let the one estimator and two department supervisors off the hook. I asked the rest of the team to sit through my Internal Auditor Training before they decided whether they wanted to continue auditing or not. They had been trained to audit using the standard; checklists, forms and binders abounded. It was a great deal of overkill for a place our size and none of them liked mucking through all the ISO language.

I ended up with 5 employees who still wanted to audit after I trained them to audit the way that I like to; creating their checklists from our internal documents for example - nice simple language that all us shop rats can understand. I'm the one that verifies compliance to the standard, the team verifies compliance to our processes/procedures.

One of the auditors has since left to go work somewhere else, so now I have 4 fulltime auditors. The Office Manager is an auditor, she is also our backup Mgt. Rep., the Accounts Receivable gal is an auditor and our document administrator. These two just love auditing because I always assign them manufacturing processes and they really enjoy learning about our products and what goes on out on the floor (plus, since they're out on the floor they have an excuse to wear jeans to work - they don't even get casual Friday around here) Then I have an ID Grinder and a Ballscrew Assembler to audit the business planning, management review, contract review and APQP. Again - these guys love to audit because they get to see what goes on up front before they ever see prints and routers.
 

WALLACE

Quite Involved in Discussions
#8
Choosing and keeping your internal auditors

Depending on the size of an organization and the financial / time resources that are designated to training is the key to keeping your internal auditors.
IMO, continuously training and supporting your internal auditors on a frequent basis is key to motivating them to make the choice to stay with the program.
I guess it's like everything else in business regarding employees, the "what's in it for me" position is the key to motivating employees who may stay the course regarding offering themselves up to be used by the QM on a regular basis for auditing.
I have noted that continuous education opportunities aside, formaly recognizing the employee internal auditors who take part in an internal audit is the best motivator for keeping them as well trained, willing and active quality system contributors.
Wallace.
 
R

RosieA

#9
My last company had a good process...

When a new auditor joined the team, they had to make a commitment for 3 years. Then they would be allowed to resign or stay as they desired. You really want to make people understand that the time and cost of training them requires that they give some benefit back to the company. This company never scheduled people for more than 2 audits a year, so a total of 6 audits over 3 years is a reasonable pay-back.

Many people stayed well beyond 3 years.

We always tried to have a good cross-section of the company represented on the team, and the size of the team was around 10% of the headcount of the company.

My present company used just QA people for the audit team, and my Lord were those folks burned out. The first thing i did was recruit new auditors and give my QA team a breather. The downside of sticking QA with the job is that you get a very narrow auditing persepctive, and the tendency is to ask the same questions during every audit. Fresh bodies ask fresh questions.
 
P

pthareja

#10
Maintaining Auditors Army

The challenge of a healty internal auditing system has rightly been given the due attention it deserved. Do we think auditors are born or trained?

Well! the auditors definitely have to master the relevant standards (which are judiciously drafted) follow the statutory norms (which are PA's for societies/ ecology's welfare), and have the common sense. But I see that all of these creatures did not have the concern for the statutory norms, for societies/ ecology's welfare, or have the attitude for higher sense of quality (higher, atleast circumstantially, than the auditee. I saw that auditors had sometimes a blind eye and deaf ear to the quality lapses ( recurringly if they had done, it was not sympathy), clearly demonstrating a lack of competence. On the other hand, most of the auditors celebrate over the blessing of the sixth sense bestowed by God over the auditors. This sense is the one which is instrumental in your catching the very non conformity at the auditee's end without even diviing deep into his operations.

If it's a blessing, then, to cite an example,why can't every body have as good sniffing powers as a dog displays, so as to sniff non conformances?
 
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