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For the annual internal audit, can I conduct my own internal audit?


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yosali13

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 04:42 PM

Good afternoon all,

 

Thank you for taking your time to help me with this question.

 

I have recently been promoted to SQF Practitioner in our facility. I have a question regarding the internal audit that is conducted yearly.

In the past, it was done by a consultant that we had hired.. We no longer wish to have a consultant.. 

 

For the internal audit, can I conduct my own internal audit?

 

Thanks for any feedback or advice.

 



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Posted 05 September 2019 - 05:21 PM

Absolutely!   It is the best way to see what is happening to systems and find IFSQN has some great resources on how to audit the SQF program. 



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Posted 06 September 2019 - 12:43 AM

It is not a consultant that is supposed to conduct the annual review of the SQF system.

 

It is normally senior management including the SQF Practitioner.

 

While I have been involved in assisting on an annual review - I have never been the sole person doing it.


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Glenn Oster
 
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
Internal Auditor Training - eConsultant Retainer Subscriptions - Pre & Post SQF-GAP Audits - Consultant Training
Visit us @ http://www.GlennOster.com  or call us @ 772.646.4115 US-EST 8am-4pm Anyday except Thursday
 
 

Timwoodbag

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 02:03 PM

Make sure you get proper training prior, I lost a point this year when I did my own but without a formal certificate for internal audits.  What else was I to do when people quit?



SQFconsultant

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 05:20 PM

Make sure you get proper training prior, I lost a point this year when I did my own but without a formal certificate for internal audits.  What else was I to do when people quit?

 

The auditor pointed you for not having a formal certificate for internet auditing?

 

While you are required to show proof that you are experienced/trained on conducting internal audits - there is NO specific requirement for a certificate!


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
Internal Auditor Training - eConsultant Retainer Subscriptions - Pre & Post SQF-GAP Audits - Consultant Training
Visit us @ http://www.GlennOster.com  or call us @ 772.646.4115 US-EST 8am-4pm Anyday except Thursday
 
 

samson Obure

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 05:22 AM

yes you can audit your own systems but you first must have a proper training on internal audit. the auditor would like to see your qualification on auditing(certificate)



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Posted 09 September 2019 - 12:33 PM

Yes if the girl who quit (who had a formal certificate) had "formally trained" me to any amount before leaving he would have accepted it, but there was nothing showing that I have been taught how to perform an internal audit.  



yosali13

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 01:13 PM

Make sure you get proper training prior, I lost a point this year when I did my own but without a formal certificate for internal audits.  What else was I to do when people quit?

What training did you do? Can you point me in the right direction?



Timwoodbag

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 04:20 PM

What training did you do? Can you point me in the right direction?

 

Not advocating for it, it was actually a little frustrating, but this is the package my company has successfully used for years  

https://www.22000-to...r-training.html



SQFconsultant

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 04:42 PM

You know it's funny really about how auditors word things... for internal auditing, as our own internal auditor training program says SQF requires the people that are involved in IA to trained/knowledgable about IA, and whike we do issue training completion certiciates an actual certificate is not rewuired to be shown.

Only proof of training.

Something to keep in mind when an auditor messes up.


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
Internal Auditor Training - eConsultant Retainer Subscriptions - Pre & Post SQF-GAP Audits - Consultant Training
Visit us @ http://www.GlennOster.com  or call us @ 772.646.4115 US-EST 8am-4pm Anyday except Thursday
 
 

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 08:15 PM

You know it's funny really about how auditors word things... for internal auditing, as our own internal auditor training program says SQF requires the people that are involved in IA to trained/knowledgable about IA, and whike we do issue training completion certiciates an actual certificate is not rewuired to be shown.

Only proof of training.

Something to keep in mind when an auditor messes up.

 

I know what you mean, but it still reminds me of a circular reference. An internal auditor has to have proof of training, but how do you prove you have been trained without the evidence? I suppose if you have conducted internal audits for 10 or more years in other positions, an auditor might accept that. However, isn't that still up to the interpretation of the auditor? You could have been doing internal audits for 10 or more years the wrong way, so how do you prove your point to the auditor?

 

This same sentiment came about with the whole PCQI situation for FSMA. FDA doesn't really require you to attend PCQI training if you can prove that you are a qualified individual with all pertinent knowledge. However, how do you do this without the proof of a formal certificate? 

 

Not having a certificate leaves you wide open for an auditor to say you don't have enough knowledge of IAs and issue a non-conformance.


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SQFconsultant

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 03:06 AM

I understand fully what you saying. I actually have a client that was trained years ago to conduct internal audits and then he puts the names of those on the training matrix and trains these folks on internal auditing.

He's the director of QA and we co wrote most of their initial SQF program...

His company has scored 100's on SQF several times and pretty much maintains 96-99 scores, he has full support for food safety from management / owners and prior to FSMA role out he wrote their entire FSMA program, etc, etc, etc.

His prior background was in pharma QA - so a pretty knowledgable guy.

In walks a new SQF Auditor and asks him for the training material that he uses to train his people with and he shows the Auditor the training program that he himself wrote complete with video examples...

The Auditor actually says "that's a very good program"...

And, then says - what are your qualifications to trained IA and where is your proof that you were trained...

He said he sat there and could not form a response.

Then the Auditor follows that up with... and where is your PCQI certicate!?!

Yes, nobody needs a certificate - but some Auditors ask for it anyway and will write up for not having it.

The Auditor would not relent - but told him that if he could take an internal auditor course, pass an exam and have the almighty certicate by the next morning that he would not write the director of QA up.

We sent him our course, told him to scan thru it and do the exam. He sent it to me and we issued a certificate at about 11pm that evening.

I have to say at first I thought he was kidding me about the Auditor.

And then, the next morning the auditor accepted the certificate but wanted to givd him a major for having a PCQI certificate.

He ended up marking it up as minor that turned into a nothing when the CB reversed it when our client called them to file a complaint against the auditor before the auditor left.

I was an SQF Auditor, but I never once made up my own requirements - this type of stuff just shows such a lack of common sense on unfortunity a number of Auditors and I am sure it is not just SQF.


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Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
Internal Auditor Training - eConsultant Retainer Subscriptions - Pre & Post SQF-GAP Audits - Consultant Training
Visit us @ http://www.GlennOster.com  or call us @ 772.646.4115 US-EST 8am-4pm Anyday except Thursday
 
 

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 03:11 AM

Sorry for the typo's and some word skips on my respose to QAGB... I started my day at 3am in Panama and have done 3 flights today, finally walking into my hotel in coastal VA to begin an SQF development project tomorrow... just a tad tired.


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
Internal Auditor Training - eConsultant Retainer Subscriptions - Pre & Post SQF-GAP Audits - Consultant Training
Visit us @ http://www.GlennOster.com  or call us @ 772.646.4115 US-EST 8am-4pm Anyday except Thursday
 
 

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 10:16 AM

Yes, you can do the internal auditing yourself.

 

I would like to stress though that, if you are SOLELY responsible for some activities within the company, you should let someone else audit you on that part. Otherwise, you would be auditing yourself!



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QAGB

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 11:45 AM

I understand fully what you saying. I actually have a client that was trained years ago to conduct internal audits and then he puts the names of those on the training matrix and trains these folks on internal auditing.

He's the director of QA and we co wrote most of their initial SQF program...

His company has scored 100's on SQF several times and pretty much maintains 96-99 scores, he has full support for food safety from management / owners and prior to FSMA role out he wrote their entire FSMA program, etc, etc, etc.

His prior background was in pharma QA - so a pretty knowledgable guy.

In walks a new SQF Auditor and asks him for the training material that he uses to train his people with and he shows the Auditor the training program that he himself wrote complete with video examples...

The Auditor actually says "that's a very good program"...

And, then says - what are your qualifications to trained IA and where is your proof that you were trained...

He said he sat there and could not form a response.

Then the Auditor follows that up with... and where is your PCQI certicate!?!

Yes, nobody needs a certificate - but some Auditors ask for it anyway and will write up for not having it.

The Auditor would not relent - but told him that if he could take an internal auditor course, pass an exam and have the almighty certicate by the next morning that he would not write the director of QA up.

We sent him our course, told him to scan thru it and do the exam. He sent it to me and we issued a certificate at about 11pm that evening.

I have to say at first I thought he was kidding me about the Auditor.

And then, the next morning the auditor accepted the certificate but wanted to givd him a major for having a PCQI certificate.

He ended up marking it up as minor that turned into a nothing when the CB reversed it when our client called them to file a complaint against the auditor before the auditor left.

I was an SQF Auditor, but I never once made up my own requirements - this type of stuff just shows such a lack of common sense on unfortunity a number of Auditors and I am sure it is not just SQF.

 

Yikes! I'm glad he was able to file a complaint and get that reversed. That is utterly ridiculous. I've always been afraid of this type of questioning, so I just went ahead and got my certificates. Can't argue against those.



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Posted 10 September 2019 - 03:54 PM


And then, the next morning the auditor accepted the certificate but wanted to givd him a major for having a PCQI certificate.

He ended up marking it up as minor that turned into a nothing when the CB reversed it when our client called them to file a complaint against the auditor before the auditor left.

I was an SQF Auditor, but I never once made up my own requirements - this type of stuff just shows such a lack of common sense on unfortunity a number of Auditors and I am sure it is not just SQF.

 

This is going back to the post I put up the other day about the lack of pragmatism, particularly with inexperienced auditors.  (Not just inexperienced at auditing but inexperienced with food safety and quality.)  I have a PCQI certificate but I can also safely say the training is crap.  I learned nothing from it.  The only benefit of the course was building more contacts.  It was embarrassing the simplicity and, frankly, talking down to people who had Level 4 HACCP (mine is with distinction by the way :giggle: ) and years of experience.  To then propose raising that as a major... so basically saying there is a food safety risk to not having a piece of paper?  That is ridiculous and someone needs to have a word with that auditor (which they hopefully did once they were in receipt of that complaint.)



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Posted 10 September 2019 - 04:03 PM

This is going back to the post I put up the other day about the lack of pragmatism, particularly with inexperienced auditors.  (Not just inexperienced at auditing but inexperienced with food safety and quality.)  I have a PCQI certificate but I can also safely say the training is crap.  I learned nothing from it.  The only benefit of the course was building more contacts.  It was embarrassing the simplicity and, frankly, talking down to people who had Level 4 HACCP (mine is with distinction by the way :giggle: ) and years of experience.  To then propose raising that as a major... so basically saying there is a food safety risk to not having a piece of paper?  That is ridiculous and someone needs to have a word with that auditor (which they hopefully did once they were in receipt of that complaint.)

 

100% agree with this post. I certainly did not learn anything from PCQI training. Also, I ended up with the FDA inspector for my area in the same training...which was a real...blast. 

 

To the OP - Timwoodbag shared a great program, and not too expensive. If you are however looking for training in the freebie range, I might be able to suggest one for you. It is a general IA training which provides you with an electronic "certificate" at the end of the testing session (if you pass). 

 

I tried to message you, but I guess you haven't validated your account. I would post it here, but it is a training created by a food manufacturer, so I don't want to "advertise" for them (no I don't work for them either). I used this training successfully for audits; no auditor ever questioned it. If you'd like the link, you can inbox me (anyone else who wants it as well).



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Posted 11 September 2019 - 05:09 PM

i have a relative that is a new Qualtiy / food safety manager.   in her sqf audit the auditor told her that she could not do the internal audit.  (no independent of the function).   with that said i was her alone and not senior management or team effort.   

 

so be careful on doing it yourself  (alone).  



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Posted 11 September 2019 - 06:11 PM

i have a relative that is a new Qualtiy / food safety manager.   in her sqf audit the auditor told her that she could not do the internal audit.  (no independent of the function).   with that said i was her alone and not senior management or team effort.   

 

so be careful on doing it yourself  (alone).  

 

 

Yes you can conduct internal audits as a QA Manager or QA Employee. However, you cannot audit your own programs. This does make it hard because many of the general categories are technically "owned" by QA, but there are items in an audit that can be audited by a member of the QA Team. 

 

The auditor was likely talking about parts of the process where your relative owned the process. For example, I would imagine as a QA Manager, she owned the HACCP program. If she conducted an internal audit on HACCP, then that would be a violation of the standard. This would have to be done by someone outside of QA, or at least by someone who isn't responsible for HACCP at all. 



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Posted 11 September 2019 - 09:37 PM


Yes you can conduct internal audits as a QA Manager or QA Employee. However, you cannot audit your own programs. This does make it hard because many of the general categories are technically "owned" by QA, but there are items in an audit that can be audited by a member of the QA Team. 

 

The auditor was likely talking about parts of the process where your relative owned the process. For example, I would imagine as a QA Manager, she owned the HACCP program. If she conducted an internal audit on HACCP, then that would be a violation of the standard. This would have to be done by someone outside of QA, or at least by someone who isn't responsible for HACCP at all. 

 

It is my understanding that the auditor's position was that they could not conduct the internal audit.  This may be due to just what your saying -  the auditor had already determined that there was enough areas or even one that they were not "independent of".  that was not communicated though.  

 

The question was can you conduct the internal audit yourself.   Its not a yes and no answer.  You can not audit areas that you are "independent of" as you stated.  One would need to make sure that they could justify that the internal auditor was independent of the function being audited.   I could potentially see an aggressive auditor stretching "independent of" pretty far.  



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Posted 11 September 2019 - 09:52 PM

 

It is my understanding that the auditor's position was that they could not conduct the internal audit.  This may be due to just what your saying -  the auditor had already determined that there was enough areas or even one that they were not "independent of".  that was not communicated though.  

 

The question was can you conduct the internal audit yourself.   Its not a yes and no answer.  You can not audit areas that you are "independent of" as you stated.  One would need to make sure that they could justify that the internal auditor was independent of the function being audited.   I could potentially see an aggressive auditor stretching "independent of" pretty far.  

 

I'm following you. I think post#14 from DPN covered the point of making sure you don't audit yourself. I agree - some auditors would stretch "independence" for sure. In that case, make sure you have great justifications.



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Posted 11 September 2019 - 09:57 PM

I'm following you. I think post#14 from DPN covered the point of making sure you don't audit yourself. I agree - some auditors would stretch "independence" for sure. In that case, make sure you have great justifications.i

i have to admit, i dont always read the posts.  :oops2:   were on the same page.   semantics.   



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Posted 21 September 2019 - 06:28 AM

Yes you can conduct internal audits as a QA Manager or QA Employee. However, you cannot audit your own programs. This does make it hard because many of the general categories are technically "owned" by QA, but there are items in an audit that can be audited by a member of the QA Team. 

 

The auditor was likely talking about parts of the process where your relative owned the process. For example, I would imagine as a QA Manager, she owned the HACCP program. If she conducted an internal audit on HACCP, then that would be a violation of the standard. This would have to be done by someone outside of QA, or at least by someone who isn't responsible for HACCP at all. 

Hi can you please share the training link to me? I am having the same issue here and our SQF audit is upcoming next month.

 

Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.



kingstudruler1

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 09:43 AM

Hi can you please share the training link to me? I am having the same issue here and our SQF audit is upcoming next month.
 
Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


Internal auditor training? Ifsqn has a class im a couple of weeks. I have taken it. Its pretty god and will meet the requirement1. Like below

https://www.ifsqn.co...food-operations


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Posted 23 September 2019 - 12:20 PM

Hi can you please share the training link to me? I am having the same issue here and our SQF audit is upcoming next month.

 

Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

 

 

Hi maylao123,

 

Please see Kingstudruler's post, or if looking for a free training, please inbox me. As stated in an earlier post, I don't want to advertise for any food manufacturers, so I won't post the link in the forum.

 

Thanks.



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