Auditing Standard ISO 19011 Reaching New Heights with Revision

Audit, Compliance Management

ISO 19011

The current standard for auditing, ISO 19011:2011, provides guidance on auditing management systems including the principles of auditing, managing an audit programme and conducting management system audits. The aims of this standard are the following:

  • Securing agreement on the goals for individual audits within an audit programme
  • Reducing duplication when it comes to audits
  • Ensuring audit reports follow the best format and contain all the relevant information
  • Evaluating the competence of the members of the audit team against appropriate criteria.

ISO 19011 also aims to help with the effective audit of management system standards to ensure continual improvement, allowing harmonization across systems and a uniform approach of the auditing process where there are multiple systems in place. This standard is applicable to all organisations that need to conduct internal and external audits of management systems or manage an audit programme. It also aims to give guidance on external audits, including certification which support the implementation of the management system standards (MSS).

This standard is intended to apply to a broad range of users including:

  • Auditors
  • Organisations implementing management systems
  • Organisations needing to conduct audits of management systems for contractual or regulatory reasons

If you are currently preparing for an Integrated Management System Audit, check out our blog post on the topic using the current ISO 19011:2011 standard.

ISO 19011 is currently under revision by ISO/PC 302 and has reached the Committee Draft (CD) stage, a crucial step in its development. Countries involved in the revision can now make comments on the draft. The final publication of the revised version is expected in mid-2018.

Increasingly organisations are turning to management systems as they are more effective and save the organisation time and money. Many companies are now employing various management systems each focusing on different disciplines like environment, quality and information security. The standard is being revised to reflect the growing number of MSSs and recent revisions to ISO 9001 (Quality) and ISO 14001 (Environment) – some of the most widely used standards.

Denise Robitaille, Chair of the ISO project committee has said “When the standard was last published in 2011, there were 11 management system standards, but that number has since grown significantly to 39, with 12 others in development.”

We can expect the revised version of ISO 19011 to be better aligned with the terminology, business practices and audit needs of current times. The revision will incorporate concepts such as risk-based thinking, remote auditing and will also include updated terminology and auditor competence requirements. The terms and definitions of the new version of ISO 19011 will also align with the High Level Structure Annex SL of the ISO Directives. We can also expect ISO 19011:2018 to provide a contemporary approach to complex organisational structures and audits.

The revised version is expected to be published mid-2018.

Keep an eye on our blog for updates on the progress of the revision of ISO 19011.


The Auditor

Audit , audit activities , Auditing Management Systems , ISO 19011
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