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Who can perform ISO 9001 Internal Audits?

ISO 9001 requirements state that the internal auditor must be outside the department they are auditing.  This can be problematic if the organization does not have personnel that is separate from the department being audited. 

Your certification audit is performed by your Registrar or Certification Body, but they cannot perform internal audits (Read more about types of audits). Internal audits can be accomplished by an internal employee or a 3rd Party, like an ISO consultant.  Whomever it is, they must be a trained auditor in accordance with ISO 19011:2018 and be able to provide proof of that to your Registrar. So, what are the Pros/Cons of each option?

Employee vs. Consultant

Training within the organization Hiring a consultant


  • Staff gains QMS knowledge
  • Cost effective over the long term
  • Auditor understands the organization


  • Initial cost can be expensive
  • Small company can’t find neutral people


  • Experienced Auditor
  • An opportunity to learn
  • Short term fixed cost
  • Doesn’t distract employee(s)


  • More expensive over long term
  • Organization doesn’t gain knowledge

Training within the organization

If you decide to train within your organization, there are many options for the format of your training, inlcuding online, virtual, in-person, etc.

Hiring a consultant

If your organization does not plan to conduct its own internal audits, the best solution is to find a qualified consultant near you that can perform the internal audits and keep the organization in compliance with the ISO 9001 requirements.

Deciding if your organization will conduct its own internal audits can help determine the best path to certification – whether you will do it on your own using a certification package, or if you prefer to have a consultant handle the entire process.  Whatever your path, we are here to help.

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