The Advantages of Outsourcing Internal Quality Audits
If your organization is certified to ISO 9001 or a standard that is aligned with it, like AS9100 or IATF 16949®, and you perform internal quality audits, then you should know this:
- For ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100:2016, one of the top 10 clauses for registrar findings in 2019 was 9.2 Internal Audit.
- The IATF® standard takes it a step further with the focus on Internal Auditor Competency – Clause 7.2.3, and even Second-party Auditor Competency – Clause 7.2.4.
- You do have the option to use a qualified outside company to perform your internal audits!
Certification Bodies are scrutinizing internal auditors and their competency. That’s why many companies are choosing to outsource their internal audits to a 2nd party like simpleQuE whose auditors are qualified, certified, competent, and are experts on the standards, industry, and customer-specific requirements. In addition, many are current or former 3rd party auditors who bring valuable insight because of the knowledge gained from extensive auditing for certification bodies, and from seeing many companies and various ways these companies meet the requirements.
While management may be concerned with the cost of hiring a professional auditor to complete their internal audits, if they really consider all of the costs to the company and the value of having someone who audits all the time, and who has the benefit of seeing how other companies have improved their processes, they may want to reconsider.
Management should consider the value, time, and costs of:
- the initial training for their internal auditors,
- retraining new internal auditors every year when turnover occurs,
- the cost of retraining whenever the standard requirements change,
- the time it takes for their people to plan for and complete the audits, especially when a competent outside expert can be more effective and efficient (less audit time, fast report turnaround time, better audits with more value-add findings and opportunities for improvement),
- their return on this investment to perform internal audits with internal resources versus subcontracted auditing and industry experts.
- Whether audits helped the company improve the effectiveness of its Quality Management System (QMS) processes, or was a lot of time and effort spent with internal resources just getting by with no improvement?
- Keep in mind that our AS, IATF and ISO auditors can consult and coach while performing internal audits.
Once all of the costs have been considered and a look is given to how the current audits have led to process improvements, management will find the true value and price of a professional auditor will be comparable, or even less, to the cost they are now paying and will be much more valued-added than what they are currently getting. Isn’t it worth trying to see the difference of an outsourced audit versus what you’ve done in the past, especially if you’ve fallen behind and aren’t getting audits completed?
Here are more reasons to outsource internal audits from our very own team of auditors (who have seen it all):
Why Audits Should Not Be Done Internally (Risks)
- Without proper training and experience, internal auditors don’t fulfill the competency requirements
- Lack of time to perform the audits and write reports
- Reports with limited or no findings. Internal auditors are afraid or hesitant to document any findings.
- Not finding issues internally during audits, but outside auditors are finding many issues, and management knows there are systemic problems not being identified or fixed.
- Internal auditors are hesitant to raise issues and findings.
- Findings are nit-picky and don’t create any value for the company.
- Audit reports don’t contain enough objective evidence to demonstrate a thorough audit was conducted. Often times there’s a checklist and the only objective evidence is “yes” written in to show compliance. There is no demonstration of the process approach or risk-based thinking. Audit methodology and reports are still checklist based on individual clauses of the standard, and not following best practices for auditing linkages and interactions between processes.
- Timeliness of management in responding to findings/report
- Internal turnover resulting in too much variation in reporting/focus and overall quality of audits
Knowledge. Expertise. Experience.
Outsource Your Internal Audits
Advantages To Outsourcing Internal Audits (Opportunities)
- A fresh set of eyes from outside the organization that are objective and unbiased
- Reduces company’s investment in continual training on changing requirements or frequent turnover of auditors
- Professional and timely reports
- More content, findings, comments, opportunities for improvement, and observations for added value in the audit reports
- More cost and time effective, freeing up internal resources. Outsourced internal audits often take much less time to perform with greater effectiveness and efficiency.
- Management gives greater attention to an outside expert, especially when there are sensitive issues that an inside auditor may be hesitant to address
- Better internal response and acceptance of findings and opportunities for improvement
- Our auditors have:
- In-depth knowledge of the standard’s requirements,
- Experience in the field and can share best practices,
- An understanding and use of the process audit approach and risk-based auditing
- The ability to provide consulting while auditing
- Compliance to ISO 19011 on auditing management systems
All solid reasons for turning your audits over to the experts. After all, the true intent of being certified is to help improve the company, which will eventually have a positive impact on the bottom line. See a risk and opportunity analysis in this Risk Register example, which your company might use to justify outsourcing your internal audits. It’s also a way to demonstrate a documented example of risk-based thinking with a formal analysis. Contact us at 740-305-0868 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about internal quality auditing and remote auditing (to comply with COVID-19 policies).
SimpleQuE is not associated with the IATF®, IAOB, ANAB®, IAQG®, and is not a certification body. SimpleQuE is an independent consulting, training, and second-party auditing service provider that assists a company on a path for the company to obtain and maintain certification through accredited certification bodies
Learn More About The simpleQuE Advantage