The External Audit Preparation
Ideally, your business should be ready for an upcoming annual audit every day of the calendar year. However, most of the time, you’ll need at least a few weeks to collect all the information needed. Before an external audit, there are some important points that must always be checked. This doesn’t have to be a formal internal audit, just make sure these points below are well prepared before the independent auditor comes by and has a great external audit preparation.
Check for Legislative Compliance
Check whether your company complies with national and/or international laws and regulations. Most ISO standards are quite clear on this. The company has to show that it works according to legal and regulatory requirements. Doing this check will help avoid a lot of awkward conversations with the independent auditor and an audit firm. The most successful audits are well prepared and know which standards they are working with.
Train & Prepare Employees
Employees sometimes get nervous when an external auditor comes to visit them at their desks. You can prevent this from happening by training the most anxious members of your team. On a regular day, some of the best performers simply forget how they work when the auditor is next to their desk. If your management system works as it should, the procedures/processes will describe how the people in your organization are working. There is no need to worry about the external audit process; just tell them to do the job as they always do.
If required, make sure all the tools are properly certified and calibrated. If, during the external auditing process, the auditor finds an employee using an unlicensed tool, this will most likely lead him/her to issue an NCR, especially if he/she digs a bit deeper and finds more of these unlicensed tools. This all can be prevented with the right tool management and there will not be any unnecessary corrective actions.
You need an automated system if you’re not already using one. Make sure that everyone has access to the latest version of the documents and that they’re up to date. You need to check these to prevent your employees from using the wrong document the moment the auditor sits beside them. Automating this will save you a lot more time than manually doing it.
QHSE Management Platform For External Audit Preparation
All those points mentioned above can be handled with a modern QHSE management platform. Compliance, process, and auditing procedures are simply implemented on the platform on the set-up of it. The platform has the capability to train employees, which gives them much more confidence when external parties come by.
A good QHSE management platform has an equipment management module included, so you always get notified when a tool or an asset must be checked. No corrective action plans are needed on the tools when this is set up correctly. And of course, there is an automated document version control, so you make sure that everyone has always the right document to check or work with. This all makes the external audit preparation much easier.