QMS Audits Internal Audits

Internal Audits

Thorough Internal Audits are essential for High Audit Scores

Internal Audits are a dress rehearsal for an upcoming audit. At QMS Audits we believe thorough internal audits are essential for achieving high audit scores.

In some ways an internal audit is a bit like a practice exam. We will get the checklist from the auditor or certification body, which is similar to seeing the exam paper. We make sure you have evidence to comply with each requirement in the checklist.

Some clients are happy for an audit report that gives them a list of all of the gaps they have to fill, other clients pause the audit, whilst we fill the gap, then 20 minutes later we are back into it again. Regardless, its a productive internal audit that is essential for filling the gaps, collecting the evidence and achieving high audit scores.

Gap Audits

If you are considering moving from one standard to another, we can help you understand what is involved by conducting a GAP audit. This would highlight the gaps between the requirements of the new standard and your current practices. We will work with senior management to establish a plan to ensure that work is undertaken to fulfil the requirements. This could include updating policies and procedures, training staff, spending on equipment or building maintenance. At the end of this Gap Audit, you will know how much work would be involved in moving across.

Can you conduct internal audits for GFSI Standards such as BRC or SQF?

We conduct internal audits on all standards, especially GFSI audits, such as BRC, SQF, IFS and FSSC 22000. Other standards for internal audits include Yum!, Q Catering, Supplier Excellence (WQA) and CFMSR (Coles).

Internal audits can also be conducted on ISO 9001 and ISO 31000.

Below is an example of the requirements of Internal Audits held in the BRC Global Standard.

BRC Global Standards

Clause 3.4 Internal Audits

There shall be a scheduled programme of internal audits. At a minimum, the programme shall include at least four different audit dates spread throughout the year. The frequency at which each activity is audited shall be established in relation to the risks associated with the activity and previous audit performance. All activities shall be covered at least once each year. At a minimum, the scope of the internal audit programme shall include the:

  • HACCP or food safety plan, including the activities to implement it (e.g. supplier approval, corrective actions and verification)
  • Prerequisite programmes (e.g. hygiene, pest control)
  • Food defence and food fraud prevention plans
  • Procedures implemented to achieve the Standard.

Each internal audit within the programme shall have a defined scope and consider a specific activity or section of the HACCP or food safety plan.