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Tuesday, 3 August 2010

New Auditing Standard ISO 19011- A Preview

The latest version of the ISO19011  "Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems" is due to be published next year. Users of this standard will note that the title, which was "Guidelines of quality and/or environmental management systems auditing"  now reflects the need to audit ALL  management systems, and not just quality and environmental systems.

Providers of Internal Audit Courses have concentrated predominately on Quality and Environmental management systems, but it is becoming clear that 18001 (the Health and Safety Standard), ISO27001   (the Information Security Standard), ISO20001 (The IT Service Management Standard) plus the automotive Standard TS 16949 and the Aerospace Standard AS9100  and many others are featuring more and more. These need to be audited on a regular basis.

Our own internal auditing course will be updated to reflect these changes, once the standard is published.
The new auditing Standard focuses far more on RISK, including the risk of not carrying out audits correctly, either through inappropriately defined audit objectives, insufficient competence of auditors or inadequate risk evaluation methods.

Competence of auditors in the Standards being audited features in the new annex A to 19011 and details the discipline- specific knowledge and skills of auditors for:
  • Quality
  • Environmental
  • Information Security
  • Resilience, Security, Preparedness and Continuity (RSPC)
  • Transportation  Safety
One revolutionary part deals with distance or remote auditing by video or telephone link.   A marked change and one recognising the use of technology to reduce travel times and maximise auditor resource usage.

Where sampling of systems takes place, e.g where it is not practical nor cost effective to examine 100% of the items, a representative sample of the population may be used to provide sufficient evidence that the sample is truly representative of the whole population.  Annex C provides an informative strategy for auditors.  This section also recognises that the  "Auditor’s nose" can be used to choose a sample based on size, selection, methodology and previous experience.  Where extensive sampling is required the Standard refers the reader to Sampling Plan Standards (e.g. ISO 2859)

And finally there is far more emphasis on the evaluation of auditors/team leaders to ensure competence, skills, knowledge and personal behaviour. 

This update is well overdue as the original standard was produced in 2002 and we can look forward to its publication in 2011.

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