Auditing Top Management
Internal auditors are required to audit top management as part of both ISO9001 and ISO14001 Management systems and most auditors find this task difficult.
The questions that I am asked include:
- If I criticise my boss, will it affect my future with the company;
- If I do not audit strictly enough will my boss think I am weak;
- If I audit too hard will my boss think me too pushy?
The way to audit top management is to apply a code of conduct that cannot be misunderstood:
- Make an appointment to audit your boss, giving ample time;
- Always arrive at the appointed time;
- Determine what you need to know;
- Prepare your questions in advance;
- Always be polite and do not raise your voice;
- Treat any non-conformity as a matter of fact and not a triumph over your boss;
- Remember that your boss may feel the necessity to justify any non-conformity and you should allow him/her time to state the reasons for this;
- Always agree where a non-conformity is present and do not get into a discussion if this cannot be substantiated;
- Do not allow your boss to take over the process; you are in control;
- And finally do not carry on the audit beyond the agreed time;
If you do all these thinks you will find that auditing top management is as easy as normal auditing.