Posted by isoeasy on May 9, 2006
ISO 9001:2000 defines an audit as a:
"systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining audit evidence and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which audit criteria are fulfilled."
In the past, our internal audits concentrated on a procedural/departmental approach therefore it is a challenge to perform the audit by process where processes included multi-departments. You need to examine every function and activity of the organization as it related to the processes to be audited, and identified critical process inputs, activities and outputs. It will come as no surprise that you'll find many advantages to performing a process approach to internal auditing, one of which will to help emphasize important department/functions interfaces and communication between department/functions. You may also discover that you are making process changes (changes which were necessary to address accreditation and sector scheme requirements) and failing to update all the applicable procedures due to the fact that process requirements were defined in multiple functional procedures.
The internal audits should help you identify gaps that may exist between departments/functions as it relates to a specific process. For example, in the past you may audit one Sales Department to determine if they were complying with our management system requirements. With the process approach, you would examine the reporting, technical, sales, marketing and the auditors.
Using this approach auditors should evaluate operational effectiveness as well as identifying areas where we may have opportunities for cost reduction.
Use this file to assist you to structure this approach to auditing your ISO 9001:2000 quality management system: process auditing guide/checklist