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Internal Audit

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by Wally Licuanan, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. Wally Licuanan

    Wally Licuanan Member

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    Is it mandatory for audits to have an opening and a closing meeting? whether internal audit or third party audits? Thanks!
     
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  2. RoxaneB

    RoxaneB Moderator Staff Member

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    Mandatory...no. Important and good to have...yes.

    Opening meeting
    • Sets the tone for the audit - it would be like showing up for a visit to a company and not saying 'hi' to anyone or signing in
    • Confirms expectations of the audit (for all parties involved)
    • Confirms the schedule - who, what, when, where, how
    • Troubleshooting any changes to the schedule

    Closing meeting
    • Just polite - it would be like leaving after visiting a company and not saying thank you or goodbye, and not signing out
    • Communicates identified nonconformances - so that no one is blind-sided
    • Confirms identified nonconformances - maybe there was a misunderstanding and the issue can be clarified and resolved/settled before the audit is done
    • Sets the tone for the next steps - responses to nonconformances, audit timeline and distribution, follow-ups

    The opening and closing meetings provide a definitive start/stop for the auditee(s) and are a good way to establish a good relationship and engagement of the audit outcomes. They don't need to be formal or heavily structured, but I do strongly encourage them to happen.
     
  3. normzone

    normzone Well-Known Member

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    I saw an internal audit once where the auditor went back to the auditee with a completed report, and the auditee refused to sign it, stating " I didn't say that ".

    I guess the takeaway from that would be don't ask auditees to sign the report, and avoid quoting persons where possible, simply reference evidence reviewed or not available.

    All good points [RoxaneB].
     
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  4. RoxaneB

    RoxaneB Moderator Staff Member

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    I have never had a report ready for signature by the closing meeting. What I do have a drafted list of strengths and items requiring attention. We discuss those and I walk away with a verbal acceptance that the final report (with findings) will be acted upon.

    To me the closing meeting is more about soft skills than a hard deliverable. It's about ensuring we're all on the same page, any misunderstandings have been clarified, or the escalation process for any unresolved issues is understood by all parties. Ideally, regardless of the number of nonconformances, people walk away will a solid awareness of what their role is (if any) in the next steps.
     
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  5. Wally Licuanan

    Wally Licuanan Member

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    Thanks for the input Roxane .. I recently finished an internal audit and i cancelled the opening meet due to sched conflicts. As for the closing meet i have postponed it indefinitely and plan to submit the audit report since all have agreed to the NCs anyway.

    I hope this would not be an NC when the third party audit comes :)
     
  6. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    Obtaining the acknowledgment of the auditees on the findings of the auditors, whether positive or negative, during a closing or wrap-up meeting, prevents surprises. Some of the reactions of auditees when the final report is being presented for their signatures without the benefit of a closing meeting:
    • "Oh! I thought we have already provided you the evidences!"
    • "You didn't prompt us that you're going to raise an NC!"
    • "And here I thought we were getting along so well!"
    • "Next time, will you clarify the NC to us before we sign this CAR?"
    • "I cannot acknowledge this!":mad:
     
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  7. RoxaneB

    RoxaneB Moderator Staff Member

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    Scheduling conflicts can be a bit of a hassle, however the opening meeting can be a value-added component to an audit for the reasons I provided earlier. If there are continual scheduling conflicts, I admit that I'd question the commitment of the organization to the QMS and the auditing process. That said, there are several 'in lieu of' options out there:

    1. Designates - This is the 'bus factor' (as in "hit by a bus") or the 'lottery factor' (as in "winning the lottery), meaning if someone won the lottery and left the organization, or if they were hit by a bus and couldn't work, who would take over their job with the minimum amount time needed to get caught up to speed. If there are continual scheduling conflicts, there should be designated point people that you reach out to and have them participate instead of the original individuals.
    2. Email - Not my favourite option but it could probably work in a small organization. If an opening meeting just isn't possible, a short email confirming scope (date, time, place, people) and attaching the agenda should be distributed with a "If there are any conflicts or concerns, please let me know by [insert deadline] so that adjustments can be made and communicated" statement. I'd also suggest a read-receipt on such an email.
    3. Reschedule the audit - This would probably be my choice if it was a large audit (e.g., a complete system audit) due to the resources involved.
     
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  8. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    It's primarily good practice. However, the style of both will be quite different.

    For an internal audit, there should be less formality than external audits - unless it's done at another site/location within the organization. It's good protocol to meet with management to go over the purpose of the audit etc. Of course, no-one should ever "arrive" in the workplace to do the audit without consulting the area management. Apart from anything else, most internal auditors have a different "day time" job, so being in a workspace to do an audit might be seen as being at odds with their regular job.

    3rd party auditors have it differently, they are guests and have to go through a (very) formal process
     
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  9. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Nope - but you might want to revisit what you are doing when planning internal audits - why would you have to postpone an opening meeting if management saw value in your audit? In another post, I asked the question why internal audits don't emulate the "stage 1" CB audits by meeting with management before the actual audit (stage 2)? We often see emulation of grading audit findings etc., but this all-important event is completely overlooked as a way to set up the audit for success. After all is said and done, why put in all that planning effort to be put off? You DID plan your audit, not just send a notice to say you were going to do the audit, didn't you? Did you construct your plan to validate the process for management, didn't you?
     
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