A good analogy to a typical internal audit program is playing the piano. If you take a 2-3 day lesson and are then required to give a recital once or twice a year with no practice, how will you perform? You would most naturally select a very simple song, play it very slowly, and perform mediocre at best.
Internal audits are very similar. With inexperienced auditors, the small nonconformances are found while overlooking the larger or more complex issues that have the real potential to improve quality and the management system. They also tend to overlook the many opportunities for improvement or make solid recommendations.
As a general rule of thumb, a full internal audit conducted by internal staff without extensive auditing experience should be about twice the mandates as a recertification audit by a registrar. This can vary greatly based on experience and audit tools, but it does give an indication of the internal resources required.
Management Solutions Group offers public internal auditor training courses along with cost effective onsite training that includes completing part or all of an internal audit at the same time as the training, improving the cost effectiveness.
Another answer is to outsource part or all of the internal audits. There are several advantages of outsourcing internal audits. Here is a partial list:
- More experienced auditors
- Input for continual improvement of management systems
- No internal auditor training / re-training costs
- Allows internal staff to focus on normal responsibilities and fixing issues
- Contracted auditors work for you and can give advice on potential fixes (Be careful, as it is still your system)
- Audits completed on time
- More professional audits
- With good internal cooperation, the audit can be accomplished more quickly.
Please call any one of the Management Solutions Group staff if you would like to discuss your particular situation or needs.