Remote Auditing: How well does it work?

With our new reality of social distancing, can internal audits be effective? Do we need to throw out the audit program schedule, or is it possible our audits might even improve? Let's explore some options to help us keep our audit programs functioning.

In reviewing hundreds of audit programs and audit reports, it is sad to say that many of these reports were superficial evaluations of the processes reviewed. Why? The auditors relied on checklists (that asked questions about having and following procedures) and mainly verbal responses (without verifying records or observing practices to confirm the effectiveness of the processes). That limits the reports to verifying conformance with the INTENT and IMPLEMENTATION of the standards without evaluating EFFECTIVENESS. We can do better!

What if our auditors changed focus to review the records and evaluate effectiveness of the processes? How would they identify what to review? Hopefully, by understanding the processes within the...

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