Audit Checklist

Audit Checklist

when preparing for an audit, Most of the work goes to the planning phase, followed by the execution of the audit and finally the reporting;

  • Audit preparation and planning – 50%
  • Carrying out the audit     – 30%
  • Reporting audit and follow-up – 20% 

Each auditor in an audit team is supposed to prepare a checklist to act as ”aide-memoire” (memory aide) during an audit. Formulation of the right audit questions is key to the success of the audit. 

The questions are drawn from the criteria document i.e. ISO standard, statutory documents, and organizational standard operating procedures (SOPs). You must have questions drawn from all the criteria documents in order to accomplish your audit objectives.

Checklists may be in: – notebooks, pre-designed forms e.g. the ones already designed by the audit department,  cards, soft copy forms when using a computer during an audit, or any other suitable forms 

For the well-seasoned auditors, one can be tempted to walk into an audit venue with a clipboard and paper and carry out an audit against an audit basis. However, in practice, this results in confusion and a demonstration of a lack of professionalism.

For the first time auditors or trainee auditors, it may feel overwhelming not knowing where to begin with the checklist, how many questions to prepare, and if they will sound smart.

The important point about a checklist is that for a given process, certain audit questions must be asked. Checklists ensure that something that is really at the heart of the process is not omitted.

If the criteria documents are legal requirements, it is important to ensure that you have copies in advance to prepare. Request the organization’s standard operating procedures at least 7 days before the audit and familiarize them with their processes.

The previous audit reports must be checked to avoid sampling exact activities that were sampled and omitting some for consecutive audits. Check the non-conformity reports and prepare to check the effectiveness of the corrective actions implemented after the previous audit.

Criteria documents should not be similar for auditors auditing different processes even though one or so questions may appear to be the same. One must properly understand the process they are scheduled to audit in order to pick any non-conformities and recommend areas of improvement.

 It is equally important to ensure that you prepare your own checklist. The use of keywords is highly recommended as it saves time for the preparation. 

In case one has issues preparing a checklist, the other team members can help. 

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