What is ISO 19011?
ISO 19011 is an international standard that provides guidelines for auditing management systems, including quality management systems (ISO 9001) and environmental management systems (ISO 14001). It outlines the principles of auditing, managing audit programs, and conducting management system audits.
Why is ISO 19011 important?
ISO 19011 is a critical standard for any organization looking to implement an audit program or manage external audits. It establishes a common framework for audits, ensuring they are conducted consistently and effectively. Using ISO 19011 helps organizations:
- Implement auditing best practices based on international consensus
- Demonstrate credibility and capability in auditing to customers and stakeholders
- Improve management systems and processes through structured audits
- Meet customer and regulatory audit requirements
- Facilitate consistent auditor training and evaluation
- Standardized audit process and methodology
- Guidance for audit program management
- Principles for conducting effective audits
- Framework for auditor competence and evaluation
- Tools for continual improvement through audits
ISO 19011 is essential for any organization that needs to conduct internal audits or manage external audits of their management systems, including:
- Companies certified to standards like ISO 9001 or ISO 14001
- Organizations wanting to implement an internal audit program
- Third party audit firms and management system consultancies
- Auditors performing first-, second- or third-party audits
- Quality and EHS managers responsible for audits
No, ISO 19011 provides guidance but does not itself lead to certification. It supports auditing for standards like ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 which can be certified.
For auditors, using ISO 19011 provides:
- Standardized audit process, terminology, and methodology
- Guidance on audit principles, procedures and techniques
- Framework for managing audit programs and personnel
- Criteria for auditor competence, evaluation, and development