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What is an internal audit?

Internal audits are determined and carried out on one’s own initiative. This form of self-audit offers the opportunity to collect quality criteria and key figures internally. Scheduled internal audits are fixed in an audit program in order to guarantee compliance with possible inspection intervals. These intervals are defined and scheduled in advance in an audit program. Unscheduled internal audits can be carried out additionally depending on the situation. Depending on the form of the audit, an audit object is defined:

  • System audit: the functionality and process conformity of the management system is comprehensively audited. In the case of new systems without a process history, a system audit is suitable for assessing the performance of the control process. In the case of adaptations or changes to management systems, system audits are equally relevant. Based on the auditing, conformity to standards can be guaranteed in the long term.
  • Process audit: Tried and tested management systems are audited at process level in this audit variant. Since a system may already have been in existence in the company for a longer period of time, sufficient data is available to check the process quality.
  • Product auditquality management system: In the product audit, the focus is on the conformity of the product: Compliance with product requirements is checked according to a standardized test in order to comply with quality standards.
  • Compliance audit: The term compliance covers legal, contractual and also voluntary internal company rules of conduct (e.g. from company agreements or ethical standards) and the corresponding adherence to rules within the underlying processes and workflows. A compliance audit refers to the adherence to rules that result from the respective contractual or regulatory framework.