The process whereby the activities performed in processes are compared to a pre-defined expectation or standard.
Internal audits, sometimes called first-party audits, are conducted by the organization itself, or on its behalf, for management review and other internal purposes (e.g. to confirm the effectiveness of the management system or to obtain information for improvement of the management system). Internal audits can form the basis for an organization’s self-declaration of conformity. In many cases, particularly in small organizations, independence can be demonstrated by the freedom from responsibility for the activity being audited or freedom from bias and conflict of interest.
External audits include second- and third-party audits. Second-party audits are conducted by parties having an interest in the organization, such as customers, or by other persons on their behalf. Third-party audits are conducted by independent auditing organizations, such as regulators or those providing registration or certification.« Back to Glossary Index