Auditor Training: Getting It Right

Cavendish Scott auditors eat, breathe, and sleep ISO standards. When they’re not traveling to multiple client sites to conduct internal audits, they’re consulting about auditing and training auditors. All of this adds up to a tremendous benefit to clients.

To have a successful audit, the right people within an organization need to receive appropriate training and be supported in making and maintaining the tweaks and improvements needed to maintain certification.

Choosing Employees To Take Training

The number and role of in-house auditors vary among organizations, but usually, their functions include the following at a minimum:

  • Planning and scheduling internal audits, whether these are conducted entirely in-house or using Cavendish Scott (or a similar firm) 
  • Serving as the point of communication for the registration auditor
  • Ensuring audit findings are reported to top management and corrective actions are taken and enforced

Managers do well to consider several relevant factors in selecting employees for training as auditors.

Independence is important. It’s best to assign at least one person to work full-time as an in-house auditor. Otherwise, auditing may take a back seat to other duties. Changes that were made in the immediate aftermath of an audit may give way to older habits. In addition, employees who audit the areas of their primary jobs may be blind to needed changes or reluctant to suggest them. If it’s necessary for auditors to split their time between auditing and other duties, it’s best if they do not audit their own areas. Auditing teams can be helpful, too, as they can assist with culture change related to quality improvement.

Consistency is helpful. Career-oriented auditors who want to stay in a position over time are the best candidates for training. It doesn’t help to train someone who will leave the organization or move out of the auditing role prematurely.

Personalities matter. The best auditors are usually good listeners who like people and processes. They’re confident enough to deliver sometimes unwelcome news to top management. They’re observant, patient, and smile easily.

Trainers Speak From Experience

Cavendish Scott offers a range of auditing courses, including customized options tailored to suit specific standards and individual organizations. For example, Cavendish Scott taught a three-day remote ISO 9001:2015 internal auditor course to 19 enrollees involved in microelectronics at a federal lab. Common Requests include ISO 14001:2015, ISO 13485:2016, and AS9100D. Classes may be taught remotely, on-site, or at Cavendish Scott offices.

In all cases, trainers speak from experience. They strengthen their points with personal anecdotes from actual audits and engage trainees through interactive activities.  Often client documents are used for exercises and a live internal audit is conducted on processes of the client’s choosing. This allows for specific questions to be asked and advice from the instructor to be given about scenarios described by the client.

From Classroom to Implementation

Putting the knowledge gained in training to work in an organization is essential to successful audits.

Whether they are in-house or from a firm like Cavendish Scott, internal auditors provide guidance and direction on changes that need to be made to keep an organization compliant with standards. Auditors must be independent and observant enough to see what needs to be done. They also need to have enough influence to see that management follows through on their guidance.

Cavendish Scott is an approved training partner of the International Register of Certified Auditors or IRCA. While not all of the many courses available are individually IRCA-approved, Cavendish Scott follows the IRCA principles based on the company’s commitment to professional and effective training.

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