Audit is the process of collecting objective evidence of established requirements performance.
1st party (internal) - an audit of its own quality system and its documentation, carried out by the organization itself or on behalf of the organization. Objective: to provide support, development and improvement of the quality system.
2nd party (external, supplier audit) - an audit of suppliers and subcontractors conducted by the organization or on behalf of the organization. Objective: to determine the suitability of suppliers, to evaluate suppliers/ subcontractors work.
3rd party (external, independent, certification) - an audit conducted by authoritative body that is both financially or under the contract independent from the organization, its suppliers and customers. Objective: to determine whether the organization’s quality system is documented and implemented in accordance with a specific standard.
For an audit to be effective, you need:
- specific goals and support from top management;
- trained auditors;
- timely access to facilities, documents and personnel;
- access to all management levels;
- approved procedures for conducting audits