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Could one person lead an entire internal audit?

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Posted 07 March 2022 - 05:26 PM

Hi all,


I have posted here a few times before and it has been helpful because I'm newer to quality control. I'm in charge of the QC department at a brewery. As part of our food safety program, I'd like to conduct an internal audit ideally later this month. Strictly speaking, I'm the only one in our QC department, but I know it is better for people not to audit their own department. Would it still be acceptable for me to lead the entire internal audit? 


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Posted 07 March 2022 - 05:31 PM

Depends on what you mean under "internal audit": if it's a GMP or building inspection, or glass/BP audit - that would be acceptable, but if it's an audit against GFSI scheme (e.g. compliance of your, say, Management Commitment to the requirements of a corresponding clause of your GFSI standard, BRC, SQF, etc., if any) - then it could be acceptable only in the case it wasn't you who developed that policy. As you mentioned, you cannot audit your own work.

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Posted 08 March 2022 - 01:27 AM

Even a certification audit may need only one auditor, and they would work for a couple days. An internal auditor has entire year. It's obviously a yes.

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Posted 08 March 2022 - 09:45 PM

My company has <10 employees, therefore I am the only QA individual.  I'm also the only individual who has been through internal audit training.  I perform all of our audits, both monthly GMP and annual internal; to-date, this has not been an issue with SQF.


The code requires that individuals performing audits are "trained and competent in internal audit procedures".  It then states "where practical", cross-functional auditing should be enacted.  I view this to mean that SQF acknowledges there are very small companies that don't have the necessary staff to cross-functionally audit; and that they at least want a competent auditor.  I think its a quality over quantity thing. Staff conducting internal audits shall be trained and competent in internal audit procedures. Where practical, staff conducting internal audits shall be independent of the function being audited.


I just found this in the version 9 guidance document:



To ensure the objectiveness of the internal audit the supplier are required where possible to use personnel who are separate from the area being audited to conduct internal audits. The inclusion of the words “where possible” illustrates that in the case of some very small suppliers this may not be possible. In such cases, the supplier is required to demonstrate that the alternative internal audit arrangement meets the objective of this requirement and is communicated to all affected parties.



Edited by Spidey, 08 March 2022 - 09:54 PM.

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Posted 09 March 2022 - 02:51 PM

Similar to Spidey, I'm 1 of 2 individuals with the training to perform internal audits.


Our QA team is 2 people (myself and our tech). What we've done is split up the internal inspections/audits between the two of us. I conduct the internal BRC audit and FS&Q manual review, and she takes care of our monthly GMP, Pest Control, Glass, and Chemical Inventory audits (which I then review). Our internal audit procedure involves communicating any noted NC's or summaries of document revisions at our documented weekly staff meetings.


So far we haven't had a BRC auditor tell us there was a problem with our setup...


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