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Internal Audits – any tips on how to get people to do them?

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#1 GMO


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Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:27 PM

Internal audits.  So tough to get people to do them.


I am of the firm belief that internal audits are the key to compliance and improvement.  If you wait until someone external picks it up, it's too late.  Chances are that you're tougher internally than externally anyway and it gives you the chance to really think about and interpret the standards (if you manage to audit against every one; which I don't.  Sorry, I do pick and chose.)


I see the value.  I communicate the value.  But getting people to do it...  I've had problems in the past with external staff to technical.  The reasons for that are kind of obvious really.  But technical staff?  I have now had to threaten two different people with performance management because I've trained, I've offered help, I've asked, I've chased, I've made it clear that it's their responsibility and they're not going to have it taken away and still people don't do it.  Still, I have to get the stick out and say "do it or else". 


I recognise and I'm experienced enough to know this is management but why is it auditing, why is it not another aspect of the job.  Why is it like pulling teeth???


Any top tips?

#2 Madam A. D-tor

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 09:34 PM

Hello GMO,


In my experience, internal auditing is often a task next to the person's job. When choosing today's priority the own job always comes first.


In one of my previous jobs, I had a team of auditors. In audit teams of 2 to 4 people they had to audit a small production site. We made quite an event of these internal audits. The teams did get 1 day for preparation and reading of instructions and procedures and 1 whole day for auditing. These days were planned in advance and these internal auditors got these 2 days free of duty by management.

I think that due to the committment and resources by the management and due to the fact that a lot of people were involved in this internal auditing system (2-4 auditors, site staff), these audits were successful and were not cancelled or rescheduled.


Is the management of your organisation involved/committed to internal auditing process?

Kind Regards,

Madam A. D-tor

#3 gcse-fhp


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Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:30 PM

Internal audits.  So tough to get people to do them.


I am of the firm belief that internal audits are the key to compliance and improvement. 

Kudos! GMO, at least you believe in the value of internal audits and you do not seem to be giving lip service to conducting such audits. You may need to find the root cause of the reluctance on the part of your internal personnel to co-operate. Meanwhile, have you tried using well qualified external expertise? If you properly direct the audits, this is possible, you know? 



Edited by gcse-fhp, 31 October 2013 - 10:32 PM.

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#4 Mmmm_food


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Posted 01 November 2013 - 12:44 AM

I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only person experiencing these problems! I sound like a broken record constantly asking for internal audits to be completed and offering assistance but not getting any adequate responses.

My strategy for next year's internal audits is to have a defined timeframe for completing audits and escalation process that will be communicated to internal auditors and their managers at the beginning of the year so that there are no surprises.

The prcoess will be something like:

  1. Audits issued to the internal auditors by me. Their manager is to be notifed at the same time so their workload can be managed.
  2. Auditors are allowed x amount of time to complete audits.
  3. If the audit is not completed within the given timeframe, the auditor and their manager are sent a reminder and given 1 extra week to complete.
  4. After an extra week if the audit is still not completed, the Technical Manager is notified.
  5. The Technical Manager raises the issue in weekly Senior Leadership meetings.

The aim of this process will be that the problem is escalated quickly and senior management can then take responsibility for making resources available  etc. By clearly communicating the process to internal auditors, they might be more likely to complete audits without having to be asked a million times.

We haven't implemented this yet so I can't say that it works but just an idea you may like to try :smile:

#5 GMO


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Posted 14 November 2013 - 03:38 PM

I am the Technical Manager.  Perhaps I need to delegate audit management so I can get on with being the big boots person if someone doesn't pull their finger out!

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