It is essential for an organisation to understand its performance against its requirements; and whenever possible, to identify opportunities for improvement. To achieve these objectives, an organisation must set out to conduct internal reviews of itself. These are called internal audits.
Internal audits are required in ISO 9001:2015 through the clause 9.2.
The intent of this process is to ensure the organisation’s knowledge of itself and how it is performing to its requirements. This process is charged to the internal auditor, whether developed from within or hired from outside.
Success in the auditing process is characterised by reliance on a number of principles. These principles make the audit experience an efficient and reliable tool in support of management policies and controls, providing information on which an organisation can act to improve its performance.
Prior Knowledge Expectation
- The Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) cycle
- The core elements of a management system and the interrelationship between top management responsibility, policy, objectives, planning, implementation, measurement, review and continuous improvement
- The fundamental concepts and the seven quality management principles (see ISO 9000)
- The relationship between quality management and customer satisfaction
Quality management terms and definitions
- An understanding of the requirements of ISO 9001 and the commonly used quality management terms and definitions in ISO 9000, which may be gained by completing an IRCA-certified QMS Foundation training course or equivalent.