An internal audit has a crucial role in evaluating the performance of your Quality Management System (QMS). Whereas your KPIs maybe assuring certain outputs, an internal audit gives you a good opportunity (as the process owner) to become confident regarding the minor details of the processes. Secondly, if any part of the process is not occurring according to your plans, you can always correct it in future with the help of internal audit.
An internal audit is actually a good practice for your business process and strategic planning. However, there is always a fear of “what will be found” worrying the employees.
What is the point of worrying?
It is important to understand that your employees want to do a good job, however, letting outsiders in their department, usually ISO audit consultants, to check on their work can be worrisome for them. Even though the purpose of the audit is to ensure conformity to the requirements, a lot of people view it as a “fault-finding exercise”. Consequently, they become anxious about the fact that a tiny mistake will be found and lead them to big workplace issues.
Ways to prepare your employees for an audit
No process record preparations should be required, because managing them on daily basis should be the key, therefore they must already be in good shape. Even then, the following preps can be done to help your employees overcome the audit fears:
Remind them of how it works – Even though they have been through audit before, constantly remind them that it is just a way to make sure that there is conformity in the process plans and that in case of a glitch found, it will be an opportunity to look ahead and make improvements.
Refresh Processes – While you may have already documented your process, chances are that your employees might not use it every day. Therefore, a quick reminder about the process, where the records are kept, etc. can help the employee feel prepared for the questions asked.
Answer the best they can – Auditors usually know that employees tend to get nervous and can at times forget the answer to a specific question. It is always okay to say “I cannot remember it right now but here is where this information can be found,” and show the auditor what it requires. Making up an answer is always a big no.
For further knowledge and information, you can always look at the QMS lead auditor training course guide and better prepare your workforce.