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ISO 45001 Internal Audit Tips

Internal Audits are a Management System’s best friend.

An internal audit can be a value-added activity where the audit findings lead to great improvement in the effectiveness and efficiency of the system.

For example, use audits as opportunities to train others. Ask for a volunteer (who is not an auditor) to walk through the audit process with you as an assistant. This will provide others with a better understanding of what audits are and why they are necessary and help identify your potential next internal auditors.

Internal Audit Products and Articles to Better Your Organization:

How can you make your internal audit program work for your organization? Here are some tips to help get the most from your internal audits:

  • Make sure the authority of the audit team is established so that the cooperation from auditees is assured or at least increased.
  • Decide what areas of the company will be audited and the frequency of the audits.
  • Then prepare a yearly audit schedule and distribute.
  • Develop an audit plan.
    • Decide what other audit resources are needed – checklists, other auditors?
  • Determine the purpose of the audit –
      • Is it an overview of the area being audited?
      • Or is it to concentrate on a specific system within the area?
  • Determine the purpose of the audit –
  • Hold a meeting with the auditors to discuss the plan, purpose, and scope of the audit.
  • Read the documents you will be auditing against. Know what they say. Develop questions to ask the auditees.
  • Conduct an opening meeting with the auditees.
  • Use Key Performance Indicators

During an Audit

  • Be professional at all times.
  • Avoid being judgmental.
  • Follow health and safety procedures, clean room procedures, and all other required procedures.
  • Explain the purpose of the audit to the auditees.
  • Answer questions or discuss compliance problems brought to your attention by auditees.
  • Be flexible – if you find a potential problem not within the scope of the audit – evaluate the potential risks of the problem if left unaddressed.
  • Encourage honesty with the auditees.

After the Audit

  • Hold an auditors meeting to discuss the closing meeting content.
  • Hold a closing meeting with all auditees involved with the audit.
  • First, point what was done well.
  • Second, address the nonconformances and ensure the auditees understand the nonconformance and what part of the standard is not met.
  • Issue the audit report in a timely manner.
    Encourage auditees to decide on the corrective actions. Allowing auditees to have input will give them ownership in implementing changes.
  • Assist those responsible for completing the corrective actions with setting reasonable deadlines. The correct action deadlines may vary depending on the severity of the noncompliance.
  • Be available and willing to help the auditees.
  • Ask for feedback on how you and your audit team were perceived – adjust your approach if necessary.
  • One last tip: Involve people! Involving people creates a feeling that everyone is a vital contributor to a goal of the company – compliance.



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