Want To Be A 'Certified' Lead Auditor? A discussion


Fully vaccinated are you?
I'm not an auditor so there's not much I can say here right now, but this post may serve to 'start' the forum off.
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barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
Auditor occupations,eh? Thankless jobs..LOL

Actually auditing is a mindset. You can teach just so much, the rest needs to be in your blood. An inquisitive mind, a strong will,and a poker face smile.

There are 2nd & 3rd party auditors and of course the 1st party Company/Corporate auditor. And last but not least the consultant that thinks he can audit.

Been there, done that....anyone want to hear the war stories?


Fully vaccinated are you?
I started this forum because I get lots of e-mail asking "How do I get into auditing?" and such.

As far as war stories - hey - go ahead. You might want to start a new topic with a relevant subject!

Yes - auditing does have an 'art' element.

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
we'll save the war stories till we need a laugh.

Lets talk about getting into auditing. i started as an internal auditor before they really had a name. Defense requirement. Started going out just looking around,with the mil standard in my hand. I got good at it....stopped some heavy stuff before it became a big issue. was thirsty for knowledge about it, did the CQA thing, but back then there wasn't even a prep course. So I wrote one, and brought along 4 co-workers. Soon got the eye of the corporation, and moved up to corporate audit coordinator. Just had a knack for it, and it was soon recognized.

Now things are different, there are courses out there..most just common sense plus IRCA/RAB required details. I now tutor the registered courses. But my love is auditing. And teaching the 'value added' audit techniques, 'cause I can watch the auditor develop, and then perform.

You need to develop a technique that works for you before you can "do auditing" as a profession. So grab a procedure and get out there in the trenches...make your mind work and see if you have the basic personality and inquisitive mind. You can audit anything, and a good auditor does just that, audits everything. In my class they do a flow chart on a simple every day task (ie making coffee or changing a flat tire) and we then audit that.

Check back for step 2 if you enjoyed your self.......Pay and time away from home is not worth it if you do not ENJOY it.


I can agree with what you said about "in your blood" - I too came up through the ranks, started as an internal auditor, had a knack for the objective testing of the written word, and soon was teaching the CQA materials to would be auditors.

It is very rewarding to objectively audit a process or a system and uncover previously unseen opportunities for improvement.

My Biggest regret as a Management Representative is that I can't do much auditing.

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
go the registered auditor route, and you have to do xx audite to maintain, and the company will support you as part of your job...enrichment. or do a co-op with other companies in your area as a resourse and audit each other....keeps your mind in it so to speak

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
Ya.....seems like that...so where will all the auditors come from, new registrations, surveillance.....each company adds more need. A company of 100 people needs 4 audit days, plus a year..a registrar with 100 companies is already needing 2 with no new business !!! think of it.

John C

I don't find it dull. In a couple of months I'll be leaving my comfortable employment and going out looking for consultancy and contract work. I will probably be depending on auditing and audit training to get my business going and keep the head above water. But I don't consider myself to be a natural auditor - certainly not in the terms that the people who gave me my lead assessor training and qualification ten years ago. They had it down as an art. They were concerned about finding what was hidden behind what people say and what was going on from people's body language - knowing what is going on behind the scenes. I have been inclined to disparage this approach in the past but, as I've said before, the prospective move out on my own has knocked some of the brashness out of me. I'm not a people person and I'm not a salesman. I prefer machines, if the truth was known - to work with I mean, not to take out to dinner. I watch registrar auditors going around asking questions and I wonder how they keep everything in their mind and whether they should. When I go to do an audit I pull down the documentation from the server and do an adequacy and compliance evaluation. Then I go to the auditee and watch what they do and look at the records they have regards what they have done. I really don't put much store on what they say, other than to ask them what they do and does it match the documentation.
Very mechanical. Certainly not art. In fact, I call myself a process engineer and see this, along with upgrading the process as process engineering. ISO10011 patches in the administration around the simple assessment that I do, but it doesn't add anything about the vague skills and the artistic part of auditing.
I'm missing something, I know. But what exactly is it and what percentage contribution does it make to the end result?
rgds, John C

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
If you were a natural auditor, you would have a different outlook on all this. Some people just see it as a job, some actually enjoy it. The ones that enjoy it are truely looking for evidence of compliance, NOT nonconformance. And those that enjoy it, actually believe it is a value added activity.
I for one enjoy it.....lets have a vote, who likes being an auditor?


Super Moderator
I'm an auditor (EMS-PA RAB#E052340) but the registrars say that I'm not qualified because I'm not a lead. I can't figure out whether all of these existing EMS-LA's appeared out of thin air or popped out of chickens rearend. When the 14K standard came about there weren't a whole lot of people that had enough previous experiance to qualify under the existing requirements to be a LA. Where did they come from?

I'd like to do auditing. I'd like to do anything related to the field that I spent a lot of money to get qualified to work in.
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