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January 2019

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Revised Audit Standard Key to ISO Recertification
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Revised Audit Standard Key to ISO Recertification

The recently updated ISO 19011:2018, which contains guidance on managing audit programs, sets forth key guidelines internal and external auditors should use when examining companies striving for ISO 9001:2015 recertification.

ISO 19011:2018 provides valuable information on improving an audit program systematically, including establishing program objectives; initiating, preparing for and conducting an audit; and preparing and distributing an audit report. The standard provides the necessary information for organizations in all industries that conduct audits.

The latest revision harmonizes the standard with other recently revised management system standards, like ISO 9001:2015, offering a broader scope of management system auditing and incorporating the concept of risk-based thinking.

Last revised in 2011, the standard was updated to:

  • Add risk-based approach as a new principle of auditing
  • Expand the generic competence requirements for auditors
  • Adjust the terminology to reflect the process
  • Expand the guidance on conducting an audit, particularly the section on audit planning.

Denise Robitaille, chair of the ISO project committee that revised ISO 19011 and an ASQ member, said there were other significant additions to the revised standard regarding remote and virtual auditing.

"The inclusion of text relating to remote and virtual auditing acknowledges the changes in our global economy and enhances individuals' ability to better understand how to apply auditing principles in virtual environments and across continental spans," Robitaille said.

"The other important elaboration is guidance on how to audit requirements relating to the context of an organization," Robitaille said. "These are key requirements that permeate all major management system standards. Therefore, this guidance can only serve to augment organizations' understanding and effective implementation of these strategically important requirements."

Standards are critical for businesses and consumers. Standards have been proven to help businesses lower costs by minimizing errors and reducing redundancies, while standards provide safeguards for users of products and services.

ASQ administers the technical groups that develop the most popular standards, including ISO 19011, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. ASQ also develops books, articles, training and other supporting materials to help organizations improve their use of standards.

For more information contact:

American Society for Quality (ASQ)

600 North Plankinton Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53203


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