Revision of the Guideline for the Implementation of Audits

ISO 19011 – Revision of the guideline for the implementation of Audits:


All important standards for management systems require the implementation of internal audits. Content requirements, however, e.g. on the qualifications of the auditors or how internal audits should be planned, conducted and followed-up are rarely to be found in ISO 9001, ISO 14001 or ISO 50001. Here, the standards refer to ISO 19011 – the guideline for auditing management systems. This is currently only available as a 2011 version and is now being reviewed. Publication of the ISO 19011:2018 is planned for the middle of this year.

The basic structure of the standard and the scope of application (in particular, the internal and external management system audits) remain largely unchanged. The main changes are as follows:

  • Greater consideration of risks and opportunities during the planning, implementation and follow-up of audits. This, for example, gives greater priority to topics connected with particular environmental risks over topics with less of an environmental relevance.
  • Consideration of the context and thus the strategic alignment of the company with regard to the audit planning.
  • Consideration of context, risks and opportunities of the audited company – also with regard to classifying non-conformities
  • Supplementation of Annex A (previously Annex B) with additional guidance for auditors, e.g. on life cycle, verification of information and assessment of performance results of the audited company.

The revision does not bring about a fundamentally different ISO 19011. It has, however, been further developed and adapted to the level of current standards for management systems.

Adoption of the ISO 19011 is not mandatory for internal audits. However, with regard to the new requirements on the skills and qualifications of internal auditors, it is more than helpful if auditors are trained and made familiar with the principles of ISO 19011. Training for conducting internal audits based on the principles of ISO 19011 are included in the Arqum seminar programme. This can also be conducted on an in-house basis.

Your contact at Arqum: Christian Heinrichs

Photocredit: EcoLife


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