9.0 Performance Evaluation

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ISO Navigator Pro™ is a free tool that provides practical, expert guidance for businesses wishing to interpret the fundamentals of ISO 9000:2015 to help understand, and better implement, the requirements of ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and OHSAS 18001:2007. The ISO Navigator Pro™ database divides the requirements into four sequential stages; Plan, Do, Check and Act.

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9.2 Internal Audit

This requirement is unchanged from the requirements of ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004. Your organization should establish an internal audit programme to cover all requirements of the standards. In addition, you should ensure that consideration is given to the status and importance of the processes that comprise the audit programme and the results of previous audits. Objective evidence should demonstrate information of concerning the effective implementation the audit programme, as well as a sample of audit results.

In ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004, the purpose of the internal audit is to ‘determine whether the management system conforms to requirements and is effectively implemented and maintained’, i.e. to actually make the judgment. In the 2015 version of the standards, the purpose of the internal audit is to simply ‘provide information’ as to whether this is the case. Subsequent determination is now undertaken by relevant management, e.g. during management review meetings.

9.2.1 Internal Audit Programme

Planning the internal audit programme, whilst taking into account process status and importance, is one of the most disregarded requirements of ISO 9001. Use the process status and importance tracker to help determine which of your processes and procedures should be audited more frequently than others by entering a score to rank various process attributes.
The resulting scores are highlighted to indicate whether the process requires more frequent auditing based on its ability to affect the customer and how well it is performing. This is a great way to mathematically substantiate your audit schedule. You should then schedule processes with high, red scores for additional audits, perhaps or three or even more times per year.

Status

You should consider process status in terms of maturity and stability; a more established, proven process will be audited less frequently than a newly implemented or recently modified process and should receive a lower status score. Conversely; processes which are not performing to the planned arrangements, should be assigned a higher status score.

Importance

You should consider process importance as the degree of direct impact that process performance has on customer satisfaction; i.e. could the process provide the customer with non-conforming product? Support processes should be given a lower ranking than the manufacturing/service provision processes. In addition, the results of previous audits should be considered too. Processes that have been audited recently that have shown effectiveness and improvement should be audited less frequently.

Environmental, Quality and Health & Safety Ranking

Consider how a failure in quality, environmental and health and safety attributes could affect your customers in terms of providing non-conforming product. In fact, why not ask your customers which attributes could affect them the most, as this method provides a great way to engage with them and to objectively justify the audit programme to Top management.

Customer Complaints

Simply put, enter the actual number of complaints in the relevant cell that is related to the process. Customer complaints are ranked very highly in terms of seriousness and will elicit a red warning on the total score heat map to highlight that process as requiring greater audit scrutiny.

Corrective Actions

Include the number of open corrective actions in the relevant cell that is related to the process. The corrective actions should be included and must cover all those that were raised internally or externally. External corrective actions rank higher in terms of importance than internal corrective actions. External corrective actions might arise from customer audits, registrar audits or from other stakeholders.

9.2.2 Internal Audit Checklists

The audit checklist is just one of the many tools which are available from the auditor’s toolbox that help ensure your audits address the necessary requirements. The checklist stands as a reference point before, during and after the audit, and will provide the following benefits:

  1. Ensures the audit is conducted systematically;
  2. Promotes audit planning;
  3. Ensures a consistent audit approach;
  4. Actively supports your organization’s audit process;
  5. Provides a repository for notes collected during the audit process;
  6. Ensures uniformity in the performance of different auditors;
  7. Provides reference to objective evidence.

We have provided you with three different audit checklists and each checklist allows you to determine the extent to which your management system conforms to the requirements by determining whether those requirements have been effectively implemented and maintained. The templates will help you to assess the status of your existing management system and identify process weakness to allow a targeted approach to prioritizing corrective action to drive improvement.

  1. Audit checklist metrics dashboard graphically displays status attributes;
  2. Quickly identify and target system weakness with heat maps;
  3. Real time charts display audit result data - ideal for reports or presentations.

The dashboard provides fast and reliable access to system and process metrics, precluding the need to know where all performance data is stored, or for having to locate the metrics champion for current data. It also reduces the likelihood that data is lost when metrics owners change or leave the company and reduces the learning curve for new metrics owners.

  1. Clearly illuminates under-performing metrics for prompt management attention;
  2. Provides a unique management ally during internal and external audits;
  3. Improves meeting efficiency by segregating metrics.

Auditors should not necessarily expect to find a documented internal audit procedure in place. However, they must be able to access documented information confirming the implementation of an audit programme by the organization. Documented information must also be available to evidence the results of audits. When designing the audit programme you should ensure that customer feedback, organizational changes, and risks and opportunities have been brought into consideration.

Free internal audit checklists

Check out our free internal audit checklists. The audit checklist is just one of the many tools which are available from the auditor’s toolbox that help ensure your audits address the necessary requirements.

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