Shouldn’t a company audit its own processes and procedures to ensure compliance before a third-party audit is scheduled?
Thanks for contacting ASQ’s Ask the Experts Program. In response to your inquiry, yes, it would be a good idea for the organization to conduct an internal audit before a third party audit is performed, especially if no previous internal audit has been completed. It’s important to remember that the primary purpose of conducting an internal audit is to assess the continued implementation and effectiveness of the quality management system and its processes. Not conducting internal audits on a scheduled basis could jeopardize the organization’s ability to maintain its ISO 9001 certification as well as increase the probability of the occurrence of nonconformances and customer complaints. An internal audit process is an indispensable tool required for the assessment of the QMS, its processes as well as to identify opportunities for improvement.
I hope this helps.
Bill Aston, Managing Director
Aston Technical Consulting Services, LLC
Here’s more information about internal audits.