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Improvement ideas sought for ineffective Internal Audit program?

How to improve internal audit

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aesahaetr_eldest

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Posted 13 February 2015 - 03:48 AM

Dear all,

 

Can anyone share your experience about how we conduct effectively  INTERNAL AUDIT,

right now we facing not effectively internal audit

1. Internal auditor do not realize this audit is important for us, they only do, after found 1 finding, they done for the audit

2. we not use checklist

3. factory think internal audit not necessary than SGS audit

4. our closing finding is to slow

5. we feel internal audit not have big power

etc

 

Can anyone help us, how to improve our internal audit system?

we need your experience

 

Thank You



Charles.C

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Posted 13 February 2015 - 06:34 AM

Dear all,

 

Can anyone share your experience about how we conduct effectively  INTERNAL AUDIT,

right now we facing not effectively internal audit

1. Internal auditor do not realize this audit is important for us, they only do, after found 1 finding, they done for the audit

2. we not use checklist

3. factory think internal audit not necessary than SGS audit

4. our closing finding is to slow

5. we feel internal audit not have big power

etc

 

Can anyone help us, how to improve our internal audit system?

we need your experience

 

Thank You

 

Yr problem is not unusual. Internal audit is often classified as a major PITA for all internal people concerned. But not by the  external auditor since it acts as visible evidence of yr routine self-assessment-monitoring / continuous improvement of yr Quality System. 

 

Internal disinterest is often due to (a) Ineffective training in relevance/implementation, (b)  Considered by "Management" as un-necessary. 

 

You might assist comments by informing how you currently implement yr internal audit, for example with respect to scheduling, personnel, training.

 

Why do you not use a checklist ? IMEX it is the easiest way, both from an internal / external auditor’s POV.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


it_rains_inside

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Posted 13 February 2015 - 03:53 PM

1.Internal audit = important, because it is a preventative measure of making sure systems are in place and doing what they should be doing. Which means you close them out on your own terms, when and how you deem realistic. 

2. Create a checklist, use the standard as the basis. This is how you show where you should be and where you actually are

3. Again, preventative...  you want to correct issues internally before an external audit brings issues to the table. Then you must close them out on their schedule and with them deciding if measures taken are enough. Management needs to fully understand the purpose of internal audits to truly appreciate how effective they are at saving the company's butt!

4. Assign a Target close out date to keep people accountable for deadlines

5. See quote below

 

"For a Food Safety Management System to be successful, an organization needs to have effective management review, corrective/preventive actions and internal audit programs. Consider these three attributes as three legs of a stool – when any one of those legs is weak it can cause the stool to topple. I have seen great food safety systems self-destruct quickly when one or more of the legs weaken. And, I have also seen dysfunctional systems become compliant and improve when these three programs are well defined and effective."

 

Debbie Newslow


"Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be"

                                -Wayne W. Dyer

 


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trubertq

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Posted 13 February 2015 - 04:23 PM

Has you internal auditor got relevant training? They should know the importance of sticking to the schedule and verifying corrective/preventative actions?

 

Checklist, checklist, checklist, otherwise how do you prove you have audited against the standard you are trying to implement?

 

 

I don't know about other GFSI systems but in BRC internal audits are a fundamental clause and if you get a major non-conformance against a fundamental clause this means you will not be certified. Maybe you should share that with the powers that be......


I'm entitled to my opinion, even a stopped clock is right twice a day

Charles.C

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Posted 13 February 2015 - 04:26 PM

Dear it-rains-inside,

 

I agree with your opinions but the "preventative" tag is debatable, eg - 

 

http://www.ohio.edu/audit/controls.cfm

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


it_rains_inside

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Posted 13 February 2015 - 05:03 PM

I see your point Charles,

 

but if you boil each one of those controls down, it comes back to prevention in some way, shape, or form.

 

preventative controls - designed to prevent irregularities from happening,

detective controls - "but still essential since they measure the effectiveness of preventive controls"

corrective controls - "are designed to prevent the recurrence of errors"


"Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be"

                                -Wayne W. Dyer

 


SLadd

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 02:04 PM

Step 1: Support from the most senior person onsite. This is either super easy or incredibly difficult, there is no middle ground. When it's super easy it's often a matter of opening their eyes for them, they are consumed with very different issues than we as quality professionals are on a daily basis. Set up a meeting, bring your external audit 'hits' from previous audits, bring your existing internal audit 'hits', show him/her the similarities between the two. Chances are you have some internal audit findings in January that went uncorrected that you also got hit on for your customer audit later that year. (C'mon, we can't be only place with that frustration?) This should anger your most senior person onsite, and when the most senior person onsite gets angered those under him/her suffer. When those under him/her suffer they are forced to do what you ask them to do. Yes, this is the equivalent of being a schoolyard tattle tail but sometimes you have to go there.

Step 2: Develop an internal auditing checklist. It's been mentioned in previous comments. You can copy the items from whichever standard you are using or you can look at what your current issues are develop a checklist to look for those things. For example, if you know following GMPs are a challenge for your employees you need to have some specifics on your checklist to look at your GMPs. If you know propping doors is a problem, put it on the checklist.

Step 3: Develop internal audit training. We use a powerpoint presentation that includes some audit tricks like count the F's in this sentence: Finicky felines are the result of years of scientific research, combined with years of experience." Most people won't see the F's in the word 'of' because our brains skip over those little words. Unless of course English is not your first language in which case you will probably notice them because you are paying closer attention. The training includes the purpose of the internal audit activity, use of your senses, and some tips on what sort of things to look for. The powerpoint presentation is followed by an on the job training with someone who has done the auditing to show them how to do the audit and use the checklist.

Step 4: Create a schedule. I have an overcomplicated spreadsheet with the areas of plant, divided into 3 sections and spread those sections over 3 shifts each month. All managers, supervisors, lead persons and QA and sanitation personnel are subjected to internal auditing. They all hate me equally, except for those who have to audit the building exterior in winter, they hate me more. I work out the schedule for the first 6 months of the year and send it to everyone involved before the first of the year so they can plan my demise well ahead of time. I then remind them again at the start of their scheduled month and provide the audit checklist and the areas they are to audit. I remind them AGAIN halfway through the month so there are no excuses. Our plant manager has made it crystal clear that he expects these audits to be completed each month and insists that I tattle if they are not done. There are some people that I have to nag further but I know who they are and can mentally prepare myself for the 6 emails that I know I will have to send them.

Step 5: Communicate. I recently started posting internal audit results in each area. We have an odd group of employees who want to do a good job and take it personally when they see that they lost points for a GMP issue. I rarely see the same issue twice because they now are reminded each month that these things are important and that we are checking. If heaven forbid someone doesn't do their audit, there is an uproar in the plant because they didn't get their results that month and well, the issue of the person not having done their audit sort of takes care of itself when the line staff start questioning them. Communicate the other findings in a meeting with management either weekly or monthly, whatever works for you. Once people are held accountable for corrections, they will start to fix things. This is also why it's important to have a multifunctional audit team, if it's all maintenance personnel they'll stop reporting maintenance issues so they don't have to fix anything and if it's all production supervisors you'll never hear about GMP issues so they don't have to follow up with employees.

 

Anyhow... this got super lengthy... good luck!

“FINICKY FELINES ARE THE RESULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, COMBINED WITH YEARS OF EXPERIENCE.”






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