ISO 19011 audit standard for business

ISO 19011 guides businesses on how to conduct and evaluate their internal and external audits.

What is ISO 19011

ISO 19011 guides businesses on how to conduct and evaluate their internal and external audits.

What is ISO 19011?

ISO 19011 is a document that provides guidance for businesses on auditing management systems.  It includes the principles of:

  • Auditing
  • Managing an audit programme
  • Conducting management audits
  • Evaluating the competence of internal auditors

ISO 19011 is available to all businesses that conduct internal or external audits of management systems.


ISO 19011 aims:

The aim of the ISO 19011 document is to help businesses save time, money and effort on management audits.

This is achieved by:

  • Avoiding confusion over audit objectives
  • Audit reports are structured and planned
  • Securing agreement of audit goals
  • Evaluating competence of audit teams

By following these processes a business can conduct their audits more efficiently.


Why ISO 19011 is needed:

Once a business has its management system set up, there have to be regular audits to measure performance.  This is why ISO 19011 is needed.  It will give guidance to businesses on how to set up an audit programme. This programme will measure performance based on the requirements set by their ISO 9000 and/ or their ISO 14000.


ISO 1900 and ISO 14000:

ISO 1900 is a series of standards that help businesses provide good quality products and services, which meet customer demands.  ISO 14000 are a series of standards, which help businesses reduce their impact on the environment.  A business will choose one or both of these ISO’s to form the foundation of their management system.

Internal auditors:

A main focus of ISO 19011 is how to choose auditors within a business.  These auditors have to be competent.  ISO 19011 provides advice on how to select employees for the role.

Some recommendations include training employees in auditing principles and techniques.  They must have a good understanding of the business management system.  They also need to understand certain laws and regulations.


Benefits of the ISO 19011:

The main benefit of ISO 19011 is that it combines the efficient planning, conducting and evaluation of audits is in one place.

These include:

  • An explanation of the principles of auditing
  • Advice on the competence and evaluation of auditors
  • Guidance on management of audits
  • Guidance on conducting internal/ external audits

The standard helps any person that is connected to internal/ external audits to perform effectively.  For more information and advice check our environmental management systems page.

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