Internal Auditing: 5 Tips for Building Your Best Internal Audit Team

Posted by Zosi Team

Internal Auditing: 5 Tips for Building Your Best Internal Audit Team

Effective internal audits should never be conducted by a single individual. Instead, your facility must assemble a multi-disciplinary team of at least two or more individuals to conduct robust internal audits. The size of the internal audit team always depends on the size of the operation.

Start Here: Minimum Team Requirements

  • Team members must possess foundational internal audit training. This experience ensures they know what to look for during the internal audit process and how to properly document the results of an audit. All members need to possess a basic level of training, such as Zosi’s Basic Internal Auditing course.
  • Whenever possible, assign team members areas that are independent of their direct area of responsibility. An individual cannot complete an
  • internal audit of their own department to avoid any conflicts of interest.
  • Team members must understand how to identify and document deficiencies, report findings and follow up on corrective actions.

5 Keys to Your Best Internal Audit Team

Tip 1. Assemble a multidisciplinary team. Each functional department should have one or more representatives participating in your audit team. Assemble a team of individuals from (as applicable) operations, quality assurance, maintenance, receiving, shipping, sanitation, sales, and R&D. This convergence of expertise creates a resource of technical knowledge and ensures a complete and unique understanding of the areas being audited.

Tip 2: Define your Team Leader. The team leader is responsible for managing the entire audit process. An effective team leader has advanced training for audit techniques and the technical knowledge to respond to questions from other team members. They should have in-depth training, such as Zosi’s Advanced Internal Auditing Course or a Lead Auditor course, provided by ISO or any other GFSI-scheme provided training. Lead auditor training is not mandatory for an internal Lead Auditor, but it is highly recommended.

Tip 3: Establish team responsibilities. Now, it’s time to establish the objectives and scope of your audit. Base each on the needs of your operation. What do your team members need to look for during their audit? Once defined, assign these objectives to their respective technically capable team members outside of their departments. It’s recommended to document the items reviewed during the audit, compliance assessment, evidence of compliance and non-conformances identified along with their corrective actions.

Tip 4: Create a culture of integrity. Your internal audit team members need the authority and responsibility to report the actual results of their observations and implement any corrective actions necessitated by these findings. Internal audits present the opportunity to find any deviations before a GFSI or regulatory auditor, the better the internal audit is conducted, the better results in any external audit. your audit team to call it as they see it! Remember, you should never be surprised by a finding during a third-party audit that you did not know about already through your internal audit processes.

Tip 5: Ensure management commitment. The members of your team will need to work with management to correct any issues found during the audit process. To do so requires sponsorship from these individuals, a crucial part of driving unbiased, effective audits in every department. Remember, audit team members and management share a common purpose: to produce a safe and quality product while driving continuous improvement of your food safety and quality systems.

Developed by certified auditors, Zosi’s internal auditing courses teach participants how to build and implement a strong internal auditing program, from start to finish. These courses benefit all skill levels, whether you’re a rookie or a pro.

Take a closer look at Zosi’s comprehensive internal audit resources here


Learn More – 6 Quick Tips for Conducting Effective Internal Audits 

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