What guidelines are there for internal auditors?

G3 Solutions, Inc

In many quality and environmental-based standards such as ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015, there is a reference to ISO 19011, with the most current revision being ISO 19011:2018. This document provides guidance on the management of an organizations audit program, on the planning and conducting of management system audits, as well as on the competence and evaluation of an auditor and an audit team.

Additionally, ISO 19011 provides guidance for all sizes and types of organizations and audits of varying scopes and scales, including those conducted by large audit teams, typically of larger organizations, and those by single auditors, whether in large or small organizations. It is intended to apply to a broad range of potential users, including auditors, organizations implementing management systems and organizations needing to conduct management system audits for contractual or regulatory reasons. Users of this document can also apply these guidelines in developing their own audit-related requirements.

When it comes to types of audits, there are essentially three types: 1st party audits, 2nd party audits, and 3rd party audits. This document concentrates on internal audits (first party) and audits conducted by organizations on their external providers and other external interested parties (second party). This document can also be useful for external audits conducted for purposes other than third party management system certification. ISO/IEC 17021-1 provides requirements for auditing management systems for third party certification; this document can provide useful additional guidance.

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