THE THREE DIFFERENT TYPES OF AUDITS
ISO 19011:2018 defines an audit as a "systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining audit evidence [records, statements of fact or other information which are relevant and verifiable] and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which the audit criteria [a set of policies, procedures or requirements] are fulfilled." There are three main types of audits:
Process audit: This form of audit verifies that processes work within defined limits. It tests an action or process to calculate compliance with these requirements and the efficacy of the procedures against defined guidelines or criteria. A process audit may:
Product audit: This type of audit is an inspection of a particular product or service, such as equipment, manufactured content, or software, to determine whether it complies with requirements (i.e., specifications, performance standards, and customer needs).
System audit: An audit that was carried out on a management system. It can be described as a documented activity performed to verify that applicable elements of the system are appropriate and effective and have been developed, documented, and implemented in accordance with and in conjunction with specified requirements, by examining and evaluating objective evidence.
Other techniques may be used separately or in support of the three general forms of audits, such as a desk or document review audit. Many audits are identified by the intent or scope of the audit. A department or function audit's scope is a particular department or function. A management audit's intent concerns management priorities, such as performance area assessment or efficiency assessment.
An audit may also be categorized, depending on the interrelationships between participants, as internal or external. External investigations are carried out by the organization’s staff. An external agent conducts external audits. External audits are often referred to as first-party audits because external audits can either be second-party or third-party audits.
WHAT ARE FIRST-PARTY, SECOND-PARTY, AND THIRD-PARTY AUDITS?
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