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What is ISO 19011?

Guidelines for the Auditing of Quality or Environmental or Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems

ISO 19011:2011 – Guidelines for Quality and/or Environmental Management Systems Auditing was published in October 2002 in response to demand for guidance on combined management system audits.

It offers comprehensive guidelines for quality and/or environmental management systems audit and can be applied to occupational health and safety management systems. The objective is that by using this document, organizations can save effort, time, and expenditure by:

  • Avoiding confusion over the objectives of the health & safety, or environmental or quality audit program.
  • Ensuring audit reports follow the best format and contain all the relevant information.
  • Securing agreement of the goals for individual audits within an audit program.
  • Evaluating the competence of members of an audit team against appropriate criteria.
  • Reducing duplication of effort when conducting combined health & safety/environmental/quality audits.

ISO 19011 was designed so that organizations can efficiently perform audits using these guidelines. Within one single standard there are now four critical decision/support resources for the efficient planning, conduct and evaluation of quality, environmental, and health & safety audits:

  1. A clear explanation of the principles of management systems auditing.
  2. Advice on the competence and evaluation of auditors.
  3. Guidance on the management of audit programs.
  4. Guidance on the conduct of internal or external audits.

It is a set of principles that will help anyone perform an audit effectively because it focuses on the underlying processes of audit management.

It can be used when auditing any management system.

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