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EMS cycle 7 internal audits

Internal audits

About: Internal audits are a requirement of management systems and are typically conducted by impartial and objective personnel. The internal audit programme covers all key elements and is undertaken to ensure that an organisation is ready for an external audit usually for certification. Internal audits involve fact finding exercise with the aim of identifying gaps and improving performance.

Many types of audit have been carried out by companies:

  • compliance audit - the most common type of audit consisting of checks against applicable legislation and company policy;
  • issues/ risk audit - an evaluation of how a company's activities relate to an the issues or risks or (e.g. global pollution, energy use, injury risk, LTIs) or an evaluation of a specific issue (e.g. buildings, supplies, process);
  • site audit - an audit of a particular site to examine actual or potential problems;
  • corporate audit - an audit of the whole company and its polices, structures, procedures and practices;
  • activity or operational audit - an assessment of activities that may cross company departments or units (e.g. energy or waste management) and
  • product or life cycle audit - an analysis of environmental impacts of a product throughout all stages of its design, production, use and disposal, including its reuse and recycling (cradle to grave).

Below is a flow chart showing a structured approach to internal audit:

Audit approach

Services: ENDS can help by advising during or carrying out internal audits prior to an external one. This will include the audit of documents and site followed by a summary report highlighting areas for improvement. We can also help prior to annual management review.

Benefits: Internal audits help to:

  • save time and labor by reviewing the current proactices and plan them better;
  • Increase efficiency of the companies by ensuring them that they work in a safe and environmentally responsible workplace;
  • control the impacts and risk arising from activities and services;
  • maintain continuity of good practices and provide room to improve them; and
  • keep records which are a proof of organisation’s  commitment to continual improvement.

<< Evaluation of compliance         >> Continual improvement

For more details call Daniel Keogh on 020 8267 8104