Audit Planning and Preparation


This Month


Southern AZ Tech and Business Expo October 30, 2019 Tucson Convention Center. We are Exhibiting. Information and Registration.  

Lunch and Learn – Achieving Breakthrough Performance November 5, 2019 Tempe, AZ. See Below for Details  



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What We Deliver
  • Operational and Quality Systems
  • Assessments
  • Training-onsite & online
  • Internal Audits
  • Lean Enterprise
  • Six Sigma
  • Kaizen Events 
  • Breakthrough Improvement
  • Baldrige Performance Excellence
  • Executive Coaching
Improved Profits and More!
Our newsletters provide information on business management systems and process improvement methods. These systems include our services ISO 9001 QMS, AS9100 Aviation, Space and Defense, ISO/TS 16949 Automotive, ISO 27001 Information Security, ISO 13485 Medical Devices, and ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standards. 
Further subjects include methods of performance improvement such as Six Sigma, Lean Enterprise, and other topics of interest to our readers.

Do you have a topic of interest for a subject article? Please let us know.

Audit Planning and Preparation

If your organization is certified to one or more globally recognized operational standards, at a minimum your certification body auditor(s) visits you for an annual audit. And of course, depending on the size of your organization it could be a short audit, or multiple days of onsite auditing. An effective organization should take the time to plan and prepare for every external audit prior to execution. An ineffective organization runs around the the  week prior screaming “The Auditor is coming, the Auditor is coming!”  Where do you fit in?    

The following are tips for planning and preparing for your next external audit:            

1. Read the last audit report in preparation – Your audit report contains useful information regarding the Auditors impression, facts, results, and opportunities of how things looked last year.

2. Ensure that any corrective actions required have been addressed and closed out – Your Auditor will ask to see evidence that previously raised nonconformities have been closed effectively, so have the objective evidence ready. If not done properly, great chance you will be receiving a major nonconformity.

3. Have you taken advantage of any opportunities for improvement (OFI’s) identified in the report? These nuggets are raised to help you improve your systems and your business effectiveness.  Many of our clients actually raise their OFIs to an internal corrective action status, when real value is determined by the management team.

4. Is your documented management system fully up to date and reflecting changes that have happened in your business? For example, interested parties, business issues, risk and opportunities? Ensure that any pertinent updates follow your document control and records needs.

5. Have any changes occurred in the business – your Auditor will be interested in understanding what is different in the organization.  For example, personnel, business expansion, growth, regulatory additions. Be prepared to provide a summary.

6. Are you current with required process controls? For example, internal audits, your management reviews, calibration of measuring equipment? Ensure effective compliance. A formal calendar is a great way to remember important process events and make sure they happen in a timely manner.

7. Have you reviewed and communicated to your team the  CB audit plan? Make it a priority to yourself and others as to what the Auditor is planning to do – can you foresee any problems with the plan? If so contact the Auditor to discuss the planned arrangements.

8. Ensure appropriate staff are available to support the audit as required. This staff is Beyond the Quality Department!  Circulate the plan to people that need to be available – particularly ensure departments where the process and access to records is restricted to a small number of individuals – are these people available at the required time, if not who is going to step up?

9. Is a customer site visit required?  Some visits require the processes to be witnessed on a customer site. Example can be installation, maintenance of equipment or the provision of a service.  If a site visit is to be required, the plan will say so.  Investigate the availability of suitable sites and secure your customer’s permission to be on site with your Auditor. Find out where your Auditor is travelling from and plan accordingly.

10. Breath!! Your Auditor is there to work with you, assist with process improvements, and opportunities to help you get the most from your management systems.

Desperately wanting to improve your internal audit effectiveness, including preparation, methods, and achieving measurable results?  We deliver classroom and onsite internal auditor training, and provide outsourced internal audit services.  Contact Us, and make a difference in your internal audit effectiveness!           


I. T. Service Management

An IT service management system (ITSMS) is a strategic tool to help organizations improve efficiencies, optimize the use of technologies, save money and provide many other benefits that go beyond IT. The ISO and IEC’s 20000 series provides international best-thinking for an effective ITSMS. Parts of the series have just been updated.

Some of the world’s most knowledgeable experts on ITSMS worked together to develop ISO/IEC 20000-1, Information technology – Service management – Part 1: Service management system requirements. It is a valuable tool for organizations wanting to implement or maintain an ITSMS. Following its revision late last year, two guidance documents in the series have been updated and another has been developed.

ISO/IEC 20000-2, Information technology – Service management – Part 2: Guidance on the application of service management systems. and ISO/IEC 20000-3, Information technology – Service management. They provide important information and recommendations for service providers to conform to the requirements of ISO/IEC 20000-1. This includes service management policies, objectives, plans, service management processes, process interfaces, documentation and resources. Both documents take into account the high level structure, which is a structure common to all ISO management system standards.

You can purchase these standards at the ANSI Webstore.


Organizational Knowledge
Organizational Knowledge is a resource needed for any successful organization to support its business strategy, to obtain business objectives, maintain personnel competencies and conformity of products and services.  It is now addressed in an explicit way in ISO 9001, AS9100, and other standards as a requirement. 
This has been a recurring issues with some of our client certification audits, so let’s bring some clarity here. 
Organizational Knowledge is the specific knowledge of the organization, coming either from its collective experience or from the individual experience of its personnel. In an explicit or implicit way this knowledge is, or can be, used to attain the organization’s objectives. Organizational knowledge may be recorded for example in documented information, imbedded in the processes, products and services of the organization.

The requirements for organizational knowledge in the context of a QMS can be summarized by the knowledge needed for the operation of QMS processes and to achieve conformity of products and services. Consider internal and external sources, such as:

  • learning from failures, near miss situations and successes;
  • gathering knowledge from customers, suppliers and partners;
  • capturing knowledge that exists within the organization, e.g. through mentoring, succession planning;
  • sharing organizational knowledge with relevant interested parties to ensure sustainability of the organization;
  • updating the necessary organizational knowledge based on the result of improvements.
  • Knowledge coming from conferences, networking, seminars, or other external events.

ISO 9001:2015 requirement 7.1.6 Organizational Knowledge is much more than maintaining training records. Specifics do require addressing changing needs and trends, the organization shall consider its current knowledge and determine how to acquire or access any necessary additional knowledge and required updates.



In the News
Arizona Technology Council Lunch and Learn –


At this informative Lunch & Learn, attendees will learn how to develop a framework for evaluating and establishing breakthrough improvement within their organizations.

  • Understand the critical operational challenges affecting your organizations future.
  • Identify and take action against common business process gaps affecting customer relationships.
  • Learn the truth about the lack of industry employee engagement, the negative cost to business effectiveness and actionable questions.
  • Recognize best practices and lessons learned for achieving operational excellence.   

Date: Tuesday November 5, 2019

Time: 11:30AM – 1:00PM


56 South Rockford Drive Tempe, Arizona


Manufacturing Day – October 4, 2019 

Held annually on the first Friday in October, Manufacturing Day helps show the reality of modern manufacturing careers by encouraging thousands of companies and educational institutions around the nation to open their doors to students, parents, teachers and community leaders.

Manufacturing Day addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is – and what it isn’t. By working together during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry!  Get Involved!!

For much more information, visit the MFG Day National Website.  For our home state of Arizona Events and Posting of Your Event, visit the Arizona Manufacturers Month Website.   


Training Courses
All courses can be delivered at your company or at our training centers. We do provide training beyond our home state of Arizona. Click on the course title for description, schedule, registration and payment. Group discounts are available. We also provide custom designed training to fit your specific needs. All training is fully documented for your training records and certificates of training are awarded.
Don’t see a course or schedule that fits your needs?  Contact us.

With the strong economy many companies are finding it difficult to attract qualified employees, and/or their current employees are seeking greener pastures. In a survey conducted by Deloitte, manufacturing employers reported that the most serious skill deficiencies of their current employees are:

* Technology and computer skills (70 percent)
* Problem-solving skills at (69 percent)
* Basic technical training at (67 percent)
* Math skills at (60 percent)

In today’s business environment addressing changing needs and trends, can help determine knowledge gaps and and determine how to acquire or access any necessary additional knowledge and resources needs. Training will always be an evolving need for all organizations. What are you doing to improve your employee skills and knowledge?

Best regards,

Walter Tighe and SES Team
Sustaining Edge Solutions, Inc.
Toll Free 888-572-9642


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