Why do I need Internal Auditors as part of my Quality Management System staff?
Part of any quality management system (QMS) or environmental management system (EMS) is checking to see if you are really doing what you claim. Accountants do that for your finance department. Quality Control does that for your product. Internal auditors do that for your management system. I’m often asked “why can’t I hire someone outside to come and do audits for us?” While that sounds logical, it’s kind of like saying “why can’t I stop brushing my teeth and have the dentist clean them for me?” It would get pretty scary in between visits.
As someone who formerly worked as a quality consultant, I can tell you that for small companies without someone within your company trained on the requirements of your QMS, things slide out of control much faster, and process issues rarely get permanently resolved. It is much more effective if someone on-site can spot things on a daily basis.
Part of Management’s commitment to a quality management system involves making the investment in time and training to keep the QMS on track. The pay-off is a change in company culture where attention to detail, and continual improvement, is everyone’s job.
Save the pain, do it right the first time – train internal auditors and let them be the ’pit crew’ for your quality management system.