The responsibility of an ISO auditor, whether in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd part is very big since involves evaluating the organization’s processes and verifying compliance to the Reference Standard. In this article, we write 3 tips for being a good ISO auditor.
The Standard that provides guidelines for the audit of management systems, including specific items pertaining to the ISO auditor, is ISO 19011. It describes all the requirements needed to prepare, manage and conduct an audit and even talks about topics related to competence of an auditor, their knowledge on the standard, experience, technical knowledge, etc. This article however, will concentrate more on behavioral characteristics.
The ISO auditor should by nature be an analyst. To seek evidence of compliance in the company’s processes, the auditor should question in interviews, should question documentary evidence, question processes, etc. Note that there is no relation between questioning and being inconvenient, the role of the auditor is precisely to question and this action must be carried out in a polite, friendly, and professional manner, and in a way that does not put the client in a defensive situation, because if this happens the process of audit will be hampered. So question and be nice.
The ISO auditor should be open-minded. This means free from pre-judgments and inferences before a detailed assessment of compliance with the Standard of Reference. The auditor should always seek to understand the process and evaluate all the spectra that fit the company’s process in accordance with the Reference Standard. Open mind means always putting yourself in the place of learning, because an audit process is nothing more than a process of reciprocal learning, both for the ISO auditor and the auditee.
The curiosity factor is related to the characteristic of the auditor in seeking more knowledge and innovation as they go through the process. In fact, this should be a latent feature in the life of an ISO auditor. Regardless of the auditor’s experience, the importance of preparing for an audit is fundamental. With curiosity, the ISO auditor must first seek to understand the company’s process, market, industry characteristics, inputs and outputs, risks, etc. Such prior preparation will be decisive for the results of an effective audit.
These are just 3 characteristics that stand out as fundamental to be a good ISO auditor, make a self assessment of your competence in these characteristics and if necessary seek to improve. Ask more, have an open mind and be curious!
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