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What is meant by audit types?

In terms of the type of audit, a distinction is made between internal and external audits. In addition, a distinction can also be made between the following audit types, depending on which audit topic is the focus or which management system is to be certified:

  • Compliance audit: represents a comprehensive audit within a company, in which an independent auditor checks whether the applicable guidelines & standards, legal regulations and contractual obligations are adhered to within the company.
  • Product audit: is an inspection process in the area of quality management. It examines whether a product meets the previously defined product requirements and quality standards.
  • Process audit: describes a continuous review process for work processes and workflows implemented in the company. The aim is to adapt the workflows to changing conditions in the market from the point of view of process quality and efficiency and to reform them if necessary. Process audits generally relate to internal workflows as well as process, work and procedural instructions in interaction with customers and suppliers within the supply chain.
  • System audit: is not a clearly defined term. This form of audit deals with the examination, review and evaluation of a complete management system and checks a management system for its general conformity to standards. It enables management to continuously monitor and assess the company’s quality capability and to initiate improvement measures. The QM manual is the basis and prerequisite for conducting a system audit. It contains a complete description of the quality management system.

Each of these audit forms pursues a different objective.

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