ISO defines audits as “Systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining audit evidence and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which audit criteria are fulfilled.”
An internal audit is used to assess conformity, evaluate effectiveness, and identify opportunities for improvement. Internal audits also help you prepare for external audits. It is necessary to demonstrate that your ISO 9001:2015 quality system is effective. During an internal audit, the auditor will compare your quality system against the requirements of the standard.
Internal audit is the one of the important tool required by this standard used to assess the health of your QMS. Audits are an essential management tool to be used for verifying objective evidence of processes, to assess how successfully processes have been implemented, for judging the effectiveness of achieving any defined target levels, to provide evidence concerning reduction and elimination of problem areas.
For the benefit of the organization, quality auditing should not only report non-conformances and corrective actions, but also highlight areas of good practice.
The auditor’s role is to assess how well this system is functioning by gathering of objective evidence of conformance and performance. The auditee will often be a process owner; they are the experts of that process and as such will provide an invaluable insight into the mechanics of the process.
The auditor will verify that processes are documented, implemented and understood. They will also seek confirmation that each process complies with the necessary requirements, that the process is effective and demonstrates continual improvement.