Preparing Audit Conclusions

Preparing Audit Conclusions

Audit conclusion is defined as the outcome of an audit provided by the audit team after consideration of the audit objectives and all the audit findings (ISO19011:2018).

Audit conclusions are done by the audit team after successfully executing an audit. The audit team confers for the auditors’ meeting where they exchange notes on the audit findings. It is the responsibility of the lead auditor /team leader to guide the audit team to reach the audit conclusions. 

After reviewing the audit findings and any other appropriate information collected during the audit against the audit objectives and audit criteria, the team agrees on audit conclusions. It is key to note that the audit conclusions are done based on the sampling process, hence, the uncertainty inherent in an audit.

Recommendations for the auditee are done if it is in line with the audit plan. If the auditors found any non-conformities, they are raised and classified as either major or minor nonconformities. 

Audit conclusions should address the following issues;

  1. The extent of conformance to the audit criteria and robustness of the management system. Reporting if the management system is effective in meeting the audit objectives.
  2. Reporting on the effectiveness of the established system in terms of implementation, maintenance, and improvement.
  3. The capability of the management review process to ensure continued suitability, adequacy, effectiveness, and improvement of the system.
  4. If the audit objectives were met, the audit scope was attained, and if the criteria were fulfilled. If for some reason, the scope was not fully covered, this information should be made clear to the auditee. 
  5. Areas of improvement should be addressed. 
  6. Agree on any necessary follow-up actions and the time frames to give the auditee.
  7. Confirm the appropriateness of the audit program or identify any modification required for future audits.
  8. If the audit was being done remotely, the audit team should state the effectiveness of the use of ICT and the challenges encountered. 

Audit conclusions lead to forming an opinion about systems being audited and that opinion is what the certification bodies rely on in order to give their verdicts on continuation or termination of their certification.

Audit conclusions should, therefore, be independent, factual, accurate, and not based on any assumptions. 

Many persons may not find time to peruse through an audit report especially if it is many pages, but for sure, even if pressed for time one will always create time for the audit conclusion because it will give an overview of the whole document. 

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