Audit Checklist imageWhen carrying out management system internal audits for health & safety, environmental, and quality  some organisations use standard audit checklists, but do these checklists add value to the audit process or dumb it down?

Developing a personal audit checklist is a vital part of planning for each audit that I focus on during audit training courses. The process of reviewing the audit criteria such as relevant legislation, company procedures, and standards (eg: ISO 14001, ISO 9001, OHSAS 18001) enables the auditor to make sense of the requirements, structure them into a series of logical questions, avoid repetition during the audit, and arrive well prepared. I stress that these checklists should not just be a list of questions to ask, but also physical evidence to look for, and documents to review, thus incorporating  the full range of audit evidence. In its simplest form an audit checklist could be the relevant company process or procedure annotated or highlighted by the auditor, to use as an aid memoir during the audit. (more…)