What is an Audit:

The international business management system auditing standard ISO 19011 defines an audit as: “Systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining evidence and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which an audit criteria are fulfilled”

The Audit Process:

An audit consists of examining the organisations processes, documentation and records to verify that systems have been developed and implemented and that they are effective. Sometimes observations, and discussions with relevant personnel are an appropriate means for verifying this conformance too.

At the conclusion of the audit, a report is prepared identifying positive aspects of the licensee’s health and safety management systems, and any deficiencies against the audit criteria.

The above criteria is explained as follows:

  • Systematic – Audits are usually a planned and scheduled activity.
  • Independent – Auditors must be independent of the area being audited. This means not related to, performing, supervising, or having direct responsibility for the process and activities being audited this avoiding any conflict of interest and remaining free of influences which could affect objectivity.
  • Documented – the audit process is a published written procedure.
  • Evidence – Evaluating it objectively means comparing the evidence with the audit criteria using facts without “subjective” judgement or opinions.
  • Audit criteria – The requirements of the audit according to the audit type. For example, mandatory compliance if the ‘criteria” is government legislation.
  • Fulfilled – Confirmation that the system conforms to the audit criteria.

Classes of Audits:

  1. Internal – An internal audit is a review of an organisations policies, procedure, and practices by an employee of the organisation.
  2. External – An external audit is a review of an organisations management system by a person external to the organisation.