Whichever management system or systems you are using in your organisation, you will only know how well they are operating if you conduct an internal audit of the systems to determine if they are being used efficiently and what benefits you get from operating them. The results of the audit will do one of two things:
- Confirm the efficiency of the management systems in use
- Identify any weak areas where improvements may be made
If you already have a management system and it has not recently been audited, there are many benefits to doing so that you may not have considered.
Following the procedures laid down within the management system
A good management system such as ISO 9001 will consist of and identify a series of processes and procedures used for the efficient day-to-day running of an organisation. An audit can confirm if these procedures are being used correctly, and whether there are areas where the procedures have been neglected. This may not be intentional, but an internal audit will highlight instances where it may have occurred, and present an opportunity for procedures to be brought back into line.
Is the management system working as it should?
Well run management systems can deliver numerous benefits to organisations, it should not simply be about “box-ticking” or blindly following procedures.
Even when the procedures within the management system are being followed to the letter, it still may not have the desired results for the organisation. For example, a specific course of action may be laid down to follow in the event of a customer complaint. However, if this course of action does not achieve a positive result or benefit, the auditor may recommend an alternative be found that will lead to better results in the future.
Create the circumstances required to follow up on any desired changes
Because of the audit, certain changes may be recommended to deal with any issues that have arisen within the management system. If so, there should be a firm time frame in place that allows for appropriate changes to be made. The auditor would then return to check on progress in this area, to see whether any recommended improvements and changes have been completed in time. Such changes would be agreed in discussion with the directors or senior managers of the audited business.
The importance of regular internal audits
An internal audit may seem like an inconvenience to many inside an organisation. However, it is an important process of checks and balances that ensures the organisation does not stray from its management system, and to ensure the system is working as it should to deliver real benefits. Finding solutions and alternatives is often much easier when regular auditing takes place.
World-class management frameworks
Quality Management Systems deliver a comprehensive range of world-class business management, independent auditing, training and software solutions to organisations wishing to increase customer satisfaction, achieve greater consistency in the delivery products and services, build profitability and enhance reputations.
If you would like to learn more about our management systems, and how we can help you develop world-class organisational processes please get in touch today.
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