Unorthodox auditing - Giving auditees a brief version the checklist before the audit

How would you feel about giving the auditees a brief version of your checklist before the audit? We’ve been tossing that idea around a bit here, and I’d like to hear your opinions about it.

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We do that here. It works out well, the auditee has a better understanding of what the auditor will be looking for.
The last three companies I have worked for, going back to 1989, have always given the auditee a copy of the checklist.

M Greenaway


Why send people who dont do audits on auditing courses ?

Why give auditees a copy of an audit checklist ??

Why not instead teach everyone the principles of quality assurance, quality management and/or ISO9000 to a level that they need to know in their respective positions ???


Re: Re: Unorthodox auditing

Jim Wade said:

Sure, Claes, why not? Especially if you are talking about internal auditing.

It seems to me an internal audit is an example of teamwork - two or more colleagues working together to improve things. So why not share all information freely?

In a similar vein: why do we send internal auditors on audit training courses and not the rest of the team? Just a thought.

rgds Jim

Personally, I would have no problem sharing the "Checklist" with the auditee. During the opening meeting this can be done.

Having the rest of the "Team" going for Audit Training, I assume you mean the "Steering Committee"? My ex-boss must think like that because 85% of the commitee are also Internal Auditors. But, in reality, why? How big is the Team? Senior Management would not sit still for suggesting that they go through Internal Auditing Training. After all, that's what we are hired to do in concert with our regular jobs. Why not send all employees to training for OSHA Compliance? Or, Financial Planning? There's work to be done by these people that means more to the Company than, and here's where you get to throw your shot,
non-relevant to their positions tasks.:p :ko: :smokin:

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
I see a different side of that coin.

Sending people responsible for an element/process to internal auditor training has many "percs'...even if they NEVER do another audit.

1) a good understanding of the "intrusion" and what it can do for the auditee. promotes buy in

2) It can help the auditee pepare his area, look at it through an auditor's eyes. Get inside the auditor's head, if you will.... This then makes the audit more time effective in that they know where the auditor is heading with his questions and how to answer TO BEST SERVE THE SYSTEM.

3) Eliminates the "oh no, here we go again" attitude

4) Optimize the CAR responses

5) eliminates the nit picking, therefore gets better audit results

Hi all, and thank's for your replys so far.

We are actually trying this now, and have evaluated the results so far as follows:

First of all, our intention was to provide the information ahead of the audit, to enable people to prepare for it. Some people (Not the ones being subjected to the audit, mind you) reacted in a negatuive way at first, saying that it was "nothing but a way to reduce the number of findings"... Which it is not, of course. To me an audit is a tool that we use to achieve improvement. If people "fix" things before the audit: Good. That's what we wanted in the first place, right?

There is also the matter of trust: No matter how hard we try to project a positive image, lots of people still regard audits as a kind of police activity. That hampers improvement. We think that this will make people feel that they are given a fair chance.

We are quite certain that prepared auditees will lead to better audits. We have no interest in catching people with their pants down. If they find a problem they can't fix in time for the audit, we are able to discuss it in a constructive way.

All things considered, the results are very encouraging so far.

As for the courses, I think barb summed things up very nicely. We sometimes do send peolple to audit courses for such reasons. (There are of course other ways to achieve the same results).

Opening meeting

Jim Wade said:
Do people (not just at energy's firm, this is for everyone) really conduct 'opening meetings' for internal audits, just like the registrars?

If so, why?
No opening meeting here. Vi hand out the following information ahead of the audit instead:
  • The audit plan (Published on our intranet, and available for the entire staff. )
  • A mail to all concerned about a week before the audit.
The mail contains info about:

The type of audit
Area / process to be audited
Standards and documents concerned
Time and date (Agreed with those concerned in advance).

This works for us. However, I cannot condemn the opening meeting as such. It may depend on company culture and the organisation. As long as the necessary information gets across...: fine.

Re: Re: Conclusion..

Jim Wade said:
And shouldn't we measure a successful INTERNAL audit on the quantity and quality of the OFIs discovered - more findings are better than fewer findings?
Well, now... The quality of the findings: yes ( A bit hard to measure, though. But the number of findings? I dunno... Easy to measure, but that would mean that you always perform a better audit in a rats nest where they are easily found than in a top notch area/process where they are few and far between?



Re: Re: Re: Re: Unorthodox auditing

Jim Wade said:

I'm interested.

Do people (not just at energy's firm, this is for everyone) really conduct 'opening meetings' for internal audits, just like the registrars?

If so, why? Is it because we sent one or more of our valued employees on a conventional certificated and official "Lead Auditor" course?

Dear o dear :bonk:

rgds Jim
It's just the conventional, traditional method that Auditor training Courses insist on how it is to be done. In addition to outlining the scope of the audit, it is used to politely schedule around any conflicting schedules. Another benefit I see, for having both opening and closing meetings, is that Auditees feel like they are part of something very important. Other than their jobs. :vfunny: I've seen where the Auditee has reminded the Auditor that their inquiry may be beyond the scope of the audit as defined in the meeting. The closing meeting is a chance to applaud good behavior and say good things, as well as explaining the reasons for the findings, if any. To just schedule audits without Departmental input is counter productive to good relationships between the Auditing Team and the Auditees. I imagine that's why Auditors are trained that way. Is this something else we want to change because it is seen as "non-beneficial"? Face to face communications are always beneficial. What's seems to be the problem?:frust: :ko: :smokin:
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