What questions should I ask during Internal Audits?

R

Ron Tollett

#1
Hi Team,
I'm stuck on what questions I should use for internal audits. Is it appropriate to ask questions like, "Can you show me the circulation of the management review agenda to the appropriate personnel as described in your procedure?"
 
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R

Ron Tollett

#3
Re: Internal Audit questions

Thank you, Stijloor. It was just a view I was looking for. Much appreciated.
 

qusys

Trusted Information Resource
#4
Re: Internal Audit questions

Thank you, Stijloor. It was just a view I was looking for. Much appreciated.
Clearly this is not the only question to make.
My suggestion is to look at the processa nd stay focused in auditing the the effectiveness of this activity/process.
I guess you are making internal auditing, correct me if I am wrong
see you:bigwave:
 
R

Ron Tollett

#5
Re: Internal Audit questions

Thanks Gusys. If this was evidenced as being completed, would you say this would be considered effective in the activity/process?
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Leader
Admin
#6
Re: Internal Audit questions

Thanks Gusys. If this was evidenced as being completed, would you say this would be considered effective in the activity/process?
It is good that the agenda was shared, but I would instead gauge effectiveness on what was done with the management review information - inputs and outputs. To make my audits meaningful I try to compare and contrast the process's intended and actual benefit to the organization.
 

Stijloor

Leader
Super Moderator
#7
Re: Internal Audit questions

Thanks Gusys. If this was evidenced as being completed, would you say this would be considered effective in the activity/process?
As you have read, Jennifer makes excellent points. :agree1:

When you look at Management Review outputs, two important words are used: decisions and actions. When you audit the effectiveness of Management Review, you want to see the evidence of decisions and actions; and most importantly: the results of the actions.

Stijloor.
 
R

Ron Tollett

#8
Re: Internal Audit questions

Very interesting points here, Jennifer. Thanks. Made it very clear.
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Leader
Admin
#9
Stijloor said it better than me. :agree1:

But really, what is management Review about? It is supposed to be upper management reviewing the QMS (the standard supplies a list of exactly what aspects of the QMS as a minimum) performance in as a basis of decision making.

It helps that the inputs have some value. I rant and rave about audit metrics that say little besides how many audits were done and how many nonconformances were written. That tells us precisely nothing, as I could manipulate that data endlessly.

Of course there is a requirement to review nonconformances and status of corrective actions, which is getting closer to the good stuff - IF these things are of value. Imagine the things management wants to know: "What is going on that helps us be profitable and competitive?" A good QMS should be telling them at least some of this stuff, and a good management team is paying attention to what the good QMS is telling them. Your audit could review all of that.

That was a lot of "coulds", "shoulds" and "Ifs."
 
J

JaneB

#10
Hi Team,
I'm stuck on what questions I should use for internal audits. Is it appropriate to ask questions like, "Can you show me the circulation of the management review agenda to the appropriate personnel as described in your procedure?"
Here's some questions that I might ask in such a case. (NB: there often isn't a procedure for MR - and doesn't need to be - but in this case there clearly is)

  • I see the procedure involves putting items onto an agenda and then circulating it... could you show me a couple of examples of agendas - say 2 consecutive ones - from the last two reviews?
  • (After looking at the agendas) - OK, I see on this agenda you planned to discuss XYZ process because there'd been some problems with it - can you tell me what happened about that? What the problem was/were? How did they show up?
  • OK, so you decided to do X about it... can you show me the decision/action from minutes/action log/whatever?
  • (depending on the status of that action - complete/incomplete/ etc) - and how's progress? If completed - has that been effective? (If yes) And is there some evidence you could show me that would indicate that?

In other words, I'm less focussed on what I consider to be somewhat administrivia (ie, show me you circulated the agenda to appropriate personnel) and more interested in inputs, outputs, decisions and results as others have said. (After all, if there is some kind of minute/meeting record, I can see who was there from that, and I don't need to ask that question).

An alternative approach is not to ask questions based on the procedure, but to elicit the process via questions, and then compare what is said to what is written. eg:
Tell me about management reviews - what makes them happen? (if you need to prompt: eg, is there a schedule, are they ad hoc/only if a problem etc)
Who goes to them?
What kinds of things get discussed? eg, do you have an agenda? how does that work?
What kinds of things are looked at and reviewed at these meetings? (ie, what are the inputs, but I wouldn't use that word unless it was helpful?)
And are there are any kinds of minutes/actions kept? (ie, outputs, etc)

And once you understand the procedure, you can zero in on asking for examples...
 
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