You probably already know how frustrating ISO 9001 internal audits of your quality management system can be if you work for a company that does these audits. It’s time to adopt a new strategy if your company is one of the many that believe internal audits are useless. You can improve your internal audits conducted in accordance with ISO 9001:2015 by following these simple steps.

Of course, some fundamentals must be in place.

It would help if you had a plan for internal quality audits, qualified auditors, and an effective management review procedure. All of these requirements will be examined by an external ISO 9001 auditor.

The management review team should concur:

The management review team will be more excited to see the internal audit results if they can have a fruitful discussion about the areas they want to audit. As an illustration, if they observe or suspect issues to a certain extent, an internal audit (inquiry) will help clarify the situation. (Depending on how much content you cover, this may happen at the review meeting or as a separate discussion approved at the MR.)

Accept the internal audit plan for ISO 9001:

You can then choose what you will look at for each internal audit you agree to do. This will assist in determining who will audit and how. For instance, if the auditing area is very technical, you should have someone on hand who is familiar with the process. Have them accompany the auditor if they are not trained. Most importantly, you learn something applicable and meaningful to share with the management team.

A big tip: following this procedure for each audit activity and listing the details in a table will create an extremely helpful audit program.

Conduct an internal ISO audit: Do the audit right away. Always remember that preparation is key. Learn as much as possible about the procedure or area, list the things you want to check, talk to the auditees about it, and then carry it out.

Describe the results of the internal audit:

The results of an internal audit are varied. You must be able to describe what is happening following the planned arrangements (such as process maps, protocols, or other requirements) and what is not adhering to those arrangements based on the specifics of what you have seen.

Additionally, you might notice certain things that could be improved upon by the auditees or yourself or things that don’t go well and require immediate attention.

Talk about the results and decide on corrective measures:

You will now return to the management review team with the audit findings. They will aid in setting the task’s priorities. You can then share your results with a pertinent individual from the region or process you audited. Since the management will fix it if it needs fixing, this is an excellent approach to avoid many of the delays many organizations have when closing out non-conformances.

Your internal ISO 9001 audits will gradually show more improvement areas as your abilities advance.


Any questions?