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Blast from the Past, Blog

Using Internal Audits to Skyrocket Improvement

Posted: September 12, 2018 at 11:28 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

G U E S T  A R T I C L E

Blast from the Past

Using Internal Audits to Skyrocket Improvement
Capital Quality News February 2002
By Micheal Hart,CQE,CQA,CQMgr

Internal Quality Management System audits are a requirement of the international quality management system standard standard ISO 9000 and its many sector specific adaptations, ISO 9000 states that organizations “… conduct internal audits at planned intervals to determine whether the quality management system conforms to …the requirements of this international standard and to the quality management system requirements established by the organization…” External audits by outside (3rd Party) registrars are also required in order to receive and maintain certification to the ISO 9000 standard.


3RD Party Audits

Outside Registrars performing 3rd party audits on an organization do not necessarily have the same agenda as the organization’s internal audit program. While the 3rd party auditors are concerned with the organizations continuous improvement, they are specifically paid to review that the organization meets the requirements of ISO 9000 or other management standard. They are not allowed to consult during the audit,because this may put them in a precarious position if their advice is overturned by another auditor with a different opinion. External auditors have no connection with the employees of the organization , and regardless of their good intentions , are still thought of as strangers that may affect the organizations future, and therefore are not to be trusted completely.

In many organizations 3rd  party audits are being tied only t the retention of the ISO Certification. In fact complaints are starting to arise that some external auditors, in their haste to be a good supplier, allow items to be overlooked, to the point that management and employees lose respect for the process of auditing the management system in the first place. The automotive industry has identified such a rampant lack of effectiveness from 3rd party auditors  that they are pushing for for more responsibility t be placed upon their suppliers to create an effective internal auditing system rather than rely heavily on the results of an external one.

What Organizations can do

Any organization can take back control of its monitoring function easily. The first step is to decide as a leadership team that you want to aggressively improve your organizations working environment by involving employees. Once this is decided, the planning step becomes almost an automated process. The first step by the leaders should not be taken lightly. In every program the formula remains consistent; if the leaders do no truly believe and will not truly support, the initiative will truly fail. It is one of the most critical aspects of success in the implementation of any organizational wide program.


The word auditing has always had negative connotations attached to it. To “fail an audit” is to place yourself and theirs in jeopardy. To allow others too review and comment on the way you work and the success or failures that occur, is an invasion of a very personal space for every employee, and this is why audits are considered in a very derogatory sense. To overcome this prejudice , the organization must re design what an internal audit must be and what it will accomplish.



Candice Carter

The post has been contributed by Candice Carter. You can contact her using our contact form.



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