How to Ensure a Smooth Audit – Tips from an Auditor Coach in Perth
Part 2 - Planning and Conducting an Audit
Like many things in life, the right preparation typically guarantees a better result.
Completing a successful audit is no different and planning is key.
Working for many years in the area of improvement through engagement has allowed me to help many teams and organisation.
In our latest series we are focusing on audits and we look at a number of tips auditors should be following to guarantee a smooth and successful outcome.
In part one we spoke about setting up for success.
Today we are looking at tips for planning and conducting an audit to ensure it runs smoothly.
When conducting an audit there are a number of things an auditor needs to consider.
The Audit Plan
As an auditor, having a plan in place keeps us focused and accountable to a timeline that consists of many tasks. The same audit plan is shared with the business getting audited. It is important both the auditors and auditees use the same plan, so the preparation is efficient and clear.
An audit plan should include details such as important dates, locations and the processes that will be audited. It is important to keep in mind, when conducting an audit, it may involve a number of departments across the organisation, so the plan needs to be transparent and clear.
The Audit Objectives
Conducting an audit is not a spare of the moment decision. Auditors don’t simply wake up in the morning and decide to audit a business.
With that in mind, an auditor needs to be very clear about what the audit objectives are.
In other words, what are we hoping to achieve by conducting this audit?
Auditors need to make sure they have a plan in place. They need to notify those from the business who will be involved in the audit and prepare appropriately.
The Work Document
Apart from putting an audit plan together, the auditors need to be confident and sure about the questions they will be asking.
Typically, these questions are placed in a work document such as a question list. This simply means that the auditors use a list of questions to help guide the audit.
It is crucial that the auditors fully understand the questions they will be asking because it does not take much for the auditees to realise if an auditor does or does not understand their business.
Probably the biggest tip that will ensure a smooth audit is ensuring that the audit team have done their homework before beginning the job.
Doing the homework will not only help in the understanding of the businesses, processes and details, but will also show that you actually care about the business you are auditing and that is typically very much appreciated by those getting audited.
For more information regarding audits or questions regarding ISO 9001, contact Christine at Potential Unlocked. We would be honoured to help.