ISO 19011:2018 – Auditing Management Systems

The release of ISO 19011:2018 highlights the emergence of the “business focused auditor.”; gone are the days of the auditor being a detached observer, policing processes and procedures. Today’s auditors are relied upon by their businesses to focus on what is important. Auditors are now leading conversations with senior management about areas of risk and the reasons why the business is not meeting its objectives.

The discipline has matured in that time, along with the management systems themselves, but the pace of change has accelerated rapidly in the previous few years. We have seen audit professionals proactively adopt a far more strategic audit methodology where the risk assessment process is the key driver of the audit plan. Audit departments are maintaining an up-to-date view of overall risk levels across the organization, becoming more agile in their approach to target the areas of real concern.

ISO19011:2018 reflects the best practices that auditors have shown over the last few years; and gives less mature organizations a worthy standard to aspire to. Regardless of maturity, the nature of risk is evolving, bringing new challenges. The nature of risk is evolving to include digital business, increasing ownership of supply chain risk and an assurance remit over increasingly focused management systems. Whilst a rapidly changing risk environment can be extremely daunting, adopting a risk-based perspective to audit planning and execution decreases organization risk by:

  • Improving the integrity of the organization
  • Identifying potentially significant risks and issues in a timely manner
  • Holding management to account, and
  • Identifying and communicating improvement that would benefit the organization.

ISO 19011:2018 will go a long way to support auditors of all maturity levels to adopt a business focus, proving that quality is about performance, not just conformance. If you want to know more about this new standard sign up for one of our auditor courses or for individual requirements call us and make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.