Why conduct internal audits on management systems?

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The majority of businesses are not motivated to conduct internal audits until it becomes a mandatory requirement.  However there are an increasing number of businesses conducting internal audits because they see the results and understand the value of what they bring to the operation of the business.

Some of our clients struggle to conduct appropriate internal audits.  Some employ the services of an external professional which has its benefits. Sometimes its left to just one person.

All business management systems based on Quality, NDIS, Health, Safety, Food, Aged Care, Environmental standards (and many others), mandate the conduct of internal audits to ensure that business processes are effective, efficient and appropriate to meet regulatory requirements and customer expectations.

In the short term an external professional can show the way and gradually transfer these skills to internal staff who can then provide a valuable resource to conduct these audits for their employer.  This approach helps to retain the corporate knowledge within the business and leads to the creation of a positive audit culture.

Every staff induction process I have seen, emphasises the importance for new staff to comply with company policies, procedures, instructions, care plans, drawings etc… If staff do not conform to all these requirements, then businesses may not provide conforming products and services to clients which is bad for business.  How important is it, that these policies and procedures mentioned above must be correct and up to date?

This is where Internal Auditing comes in.  If competent staff conduct positive audits to ensure the policies and processes are correct and being followed, then the business will be more efficient, effective, sustainable, and profitable.  The workplace culture improves, the stress levels reduce which makes for a happier workplace.

Other benefits are not so obvious.  Those staff who conduct these internal audits become knowledgeable about other processes within their business and helps them to appreciate the importance of other roles other than their own.  This helps to break down the ‘silos’ to further enhance a positive workplace culture.

External audits for the purposes of certification and supplier approval also become less arduous because less effort is required to maintain a compliant status. How is this possible you may ask? If you are systematically conducting internal audits and identifying those gaps and opportunities for improvement on an on-going basis, then there is no need for any last minute sprints to ‘clean-up’ before the auditor comes and you will definitely sleep better at night with this new sense of self-assurance.

From my experience as an auditor I find that a mature Internal Audit process increases the chances of a successful audit outcome.

If you are looking to up-skill your team to conduct internal audits, the 2 day Management Systems Auditing course is facilitated online and in-person. Day 2 of the course is practical and can be tailored to your specific business requirements. For in-house or group training, please contact me via email: geoff@grayms.com.au. For public course dates, you can learn more by clicking here.

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