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Step 7: Perform Internal Audits

Perform an ISO 9001 Internal Audit

An external audit is conducted by a person outside your organization such as a customer or an independent third party organization like a registrar to verify you conform to the applicable requirements.

An internal audit is used to assess conformity, evaluate effectiveness, and identify opportunities for improvement. Internal audits also help you prepare for external audits.

It is necessary to demonstrate that your ISO 9001 quality system is effective. During an internal audit you will compare your quality system against the requirements of the standard. You will select a group of internal auditors from within your company to perform the audits.

You will begin once your system has been implemented and will need to perform an internal audit of your entire QMS before your registration audit. The registration audit is the audit which is performed by the registrar who will issue your ISO 9001 Certificate.

Before your registration audit you will need to use and improve your system for 2-3 months. Read our about using and improving your system in Step 6 for more details.

Helpful Information:

Choose Your Audit Team

You will want to have a number of trained internal auditors for your audit program. You will be auditing each area of your facility at least once a year, with an audit team of 1 to 4 auditors depending on the size of the organization. You will want to have enough auditors to ensure they will not be auditing their own area. As a guide, your audit team should be roughly 10% of the total number of employees; a company with 50 employees would train 5 auditors and company of 100 would train 10.

Look for employees that have a strength in investigating issues and that are good communicators. Good people skills often result in a smooth audit.

ISO 9001 All in One Package