What is an Audit Program?

| December 15, 2011

One of the requirements often missed when an organization initially implements a management system is the need for an internal audit program.  The internal audit element is the only one that requires both procedures and a program.  This is true of OHSAS 18001 4.5.5, ISO 14001 4.5.5 and ISO 9001 8.2.2.  Simply having procedures is not enough.

So, what is an audit program and how does it differ from audit procedures?

ISO 19011:2011 defines an audit program as “arrangements for a set of one or more audits planned for a specific time frame and directed towards a specific purpose”.

A procedure is defined as “a specified way to carry out an activity or process”. (ISO 9000 3.4.5)

According to www.dictionary.com, a program is a “planned, coordinated group of activities, procedures, etc., often for a specific purpose”.

In other words, audit procedures are one component of an audit program.

In order to have an internal audit program, an organization must have the following:

  1. A defined purpose (established audit program objectives)
  2. Audit arrangements (audit procedures)
  3. Scheduled audits (audits planned for a specific time frame)

Want to know more about establishing an audit program?

Click here to sign up for the FREE webinar I am giving next Tuesday (December 20th) – ISO 19011:2011 – Impact on Management System Auditing.

© ENLAR Compliance Services, Inc. (2011)

Category: OHSMS Auditing, Standards & Certification

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