Pakistan Institute of Quality Control


1. General Principles a. Basic Definitions b. Requirements for an environmental audit c. Objectives and Scope d. Objectivity, Independence and Competence e. Professional Codes f. Reliability of audit findings 2. Audit Procedures a. Audit Objectives b. Roles and Responsibilities c. Auditors’ Qualification Criteria d. Initiating the Audit e. Preparing the Audit f. Conducting the Audit g. Audit Report


Basic Reference: ISO 14010:1996


Basic Definitions
Reference: ISO 14050

 ENVIORNMENTAL AUDIT systematic, documented verification process of objectively obtaining and evaluating audit evidence to determine whether specified environmental activities, events, conditions, management systems, or information about these matters conform with audit criteria, and communicating the results of this process to the client  AUDIT CRITERIA policies, practices, procedures or requirements against which the auditor compares collected audit evidence about the subject matter. - requirements may include but are not limited to standards, guidelines, specified organizational requirements, and legislative or regulatory requirements  AUDIT FINDINGS results of the evaluation of the collected audit evidence compared with the agreed audit criteria - the audit findings provide the basis for the audit report


 AUDIT EVIDENCE verifiable information, records or statements of fact
– audit evidence, which can be qualitative or quantitative, is used by the auditor to determine whether audit criteria are met – audit evidence is typically based on interviews, examination of documents, observation of activities and conditions, existing results of measurements and tests or other means within the scope of the audit

 AUDIT CONCLUSION professional judgement or opinion expressed by an auditor about the subject matter of the audit, based on and limited to reasoning the auditor has applied to audit findings  AUDIT TEAM group of auditors, or a single auditor, designated to perform a given audit; the audit team may also include technical experts and auditors-in-training


 AUDITEE organization to be audited  ENVIRONMENTAL AUDITOR person qualified to perform environmental audits
– qualification criteria for environmental auditors are given, for example, in ISO 14012:1996

 LEAD ENVIRONEMNTAL AUDITOR person qualified to manage and perform environmental audits
– qualification criteria for lead environmental auditors are given, for example, in ISO 14012:1996

 TECHNICAL EXPERT person who provides specific knowledge or expertise to the audit team, but who does not participate as an auditor  SUBJECT MATTER specified environmental activity, event, condition, management system and/or information about these matters


Requirements for an environmental audit

 An environmental audit should focus on clearly defined and documented subject matter. The party (or parties) responsible for this subject matter should also be clearly identified and documented.  The audit should only be undertaken if,
– there is sufficient and appropriate information about the subject matter of the audit – there are adequate resources to support the audit process – there is adequate cooperation from the auditee


Objectives and Scope

 The audit should be based on objectives defined by the organization. The scope is determined by the auditor, in consultation with the organization, to meet these objectives. The scope describes the extend and boundaries of the audit  The objectives and scope should be communicated to the auditee prior to the audit


Objectivity, Independence and Competence

 In order to ensure the objectivity of the audit process and its findings and any conclusions, the members of the audit team should be independent of the activities they audit. They should be objective, and free from bias and conflict of interest throughout the process  The use of external and internal audit-team members is at the discretion of the organization. An audit-team member chosen from within the organization should not be accountable to those directly responsible for the subject matter being audited.  The audit-team members should possess an appropriate combination of knowledge, skills and experience to carry out audit responsibilities


Professional Codes

      

Clarity of scope Carefulness, diligence, skill and judgement confidentiality and discretion Communication skills quality of audit, including proper sampling and time coverage, i.e. proper depth and width quality of audit reporting and follow-up


Reliability of audit findings

 The environmental auditing process should be designed to provide with the desired level of confidence in the reliability of the audit findings and any audit conclusions  There is an element of uncertainty inherent in all environmental audits and all users of the results of environmental audits should be aware of this uncertainty, mainly because it is only the result of a sample of information available  The environmental auditor should endeavor to obtain sufficient audit evidence so that significant individual audit findings and aggregates of less significant findings, both of which may affect any audit conclusions, are taken into account


References ISO 14011:1996 ISO 14012:1996


Audit Objectives

 An EMS audit should have defined objectives; examples of typical objectives are as follows:
– to determine conformance of an auditee’s EMS with the EMS audit criteria – to determine whether the auditee’s EMS has been properly implemented and maintained – to identify areas of potential improvement in the auditee’s EMS – to assess the ability of the internal management review process to ensure the continuing suitability and effectiveness of the EMS – to evaluate the EMS of an organization where there is a desire to establish a contractual relationship, such as with a potential supplier or a joint-venture partner


Roles and Responsibilities

– to determine the criteria and scope of the audit – to obtain relevant background information necessary to meet the objectives of the audit, such as details of the activities, products, services, site and immediate surroundings, and details of previous audits – forming the audit team (if required) giving consideration to potential conflicts of interest, and agreeing on its composition – preparing the audit plan – communicating the audit plan to the auditee – preparation of the audit and briefing the audit team – to ensure the efficient and effective execution of the audit within the audit scope and plan approved by the management – recognizing when audit objectives become unattainable and reporting the reasons to the management – notifying the auditee and the management without delay, of audit findings of critical nonconformities – reporting on the audit clearly and conclusively within the time agreed with in the audit plan – making recommendation for improvement in the EMS to the management / management review


– following the directions of and supporting the EMR – planning and carrying out the assigned task objectively, effectively and efficiently within the scope of the audit – collecting and analyzing relevant and sufficient audit evidence to determine audit findings and reach audit conclusions regarding the EMS – preparing working documents under the direction of the EMR – documenting individual audit findings – safeguarding documents pertaining to the audit and returning such documents as required – assisting in writing the audit report


– the process for selecting audit-team members should ensure that the audit team possesses the overall experience and expertise needed to conduct the audit. Consideration should be given to
• qualification of auditors • the type of organization, processes, activities or functions being audited • the number, language skills, communication, and expertise of the individual audit-team members • any potential conflict of interest between the audit-team members and the auditee • requirements of the certification agencies • need for any technical expert(s)


– to determine the need for the audit – contacting the EMR to obtain his/her full cooperation and initiating the audit process with necessary facilities – defining the objectives of the audit and informing the employees – if appropriate, approving the composition of the audit team and providing competent staff to accompany the team – providing appropriate authority and resources to enable the audit to be conducted. This includes access to the facilities, personnel, relevant information and records as requested by the auditors – consulting with the EMR to determine the scope of the audit – approving the EMS audit criteria – approving the audit plan – receiving the audit report and determining its distribution


Auditors’ Qualification Criteria
It is generally as follows:
– Basic graduation or equivalent – Basic training in:
• environmental science and technology (chemical background and/or impact analysis) • technical and environmental aspects of facility operations (e.g. Pollution control technologies related to the organizations processes) • relevant requirements of environmental laws, regulations and related documents (e.g. Pakistan's Act 34, NEQS, Industry-specific applicable standards, other statutory laws) • environmental management systems and standards against which audits may be conducted (e.g. ISO 14001) • audit procedures, processes and techniques (e.g. ISO 14010, 14011, 14012)

– Personal Attributes
• • • • • interpersonal skills, e.g. tactfulness, listening, respect independence personal organization ability to reach sound judgements sensitive to organizational culture

– Maintenance of Competence
• with respect to science, technology, EMS standards, laws and regulations, and audit standards.


Initiating the Audit

– the extent and boundaries of the audit in terms of factors such as physical location and organizational activities as well as the manner of reporting – the scope of the audit is determined by the management and EMR – the auditee should normally be consulted when determining the scope of the audit – the resources committed to the audit should be sufficient to meet its intended scope

– at the beginning of the audit process, the EMR should review the organization’s documentation such as environmental policy statements, programs, records or manuals for meeting its EMS requirements. – Use should be made of all appropriate background information on the auditees


Preparing the Audit

1. AUDIT PLAN  The audit plan should include:
– – – – – – – – – – – audit objectives and scope audit criteria area to be audited key personnel in EMS high audit priority concerns applicable procedures/manuals reference documents time duration of major audit activities dates and places where the audit is to be conducted audit team schedule of meetings

 Audit plan should be communicated to auditees, and audit-team members. The auditee should review and confirm the plan  Any objections from auditee must be resolved (by the EMR)


2. AUDIT-TEAM ASSIGNMENTS As appropriate, each audit-team member should be assigned specific EMS elements, functions, or activities to audit and be instructed on the audit procedure to follow. Such assignments should be made by the EMR, in consultation with the auditteam members concerned. During the audit, the EMR may make changes to the work assignments to ensure optimal achievement of the audit objectives


3. WORKING DOCUMENTS The working documents required to facilitate the auditor’s investigations may include:  forms for documenting supporting audit evidence and audit findings  procedures and checklists used for evaluating EMS elements  records of meetings  copies of applicable standards to be followed Working documents should be maintained at least until completion of the audit


Conducting the Audit

1. OPENING MEETING An opening meeting is required. The purpose is to:
– review the scope, objectives and audit plan and agree to the audit timetable – provide a short summary of the methods and procedures to be used to conduct the audit – confirm that the resources and facilities needed by the auditor are available – confirm the time and date of the closing meeting – promote the active participation by the auditee – review relevant site safety and emergency procedures before the site audit


– Audit evidence should be collected through interviews, examination of documents and observation of activities and conditions. – Indications of nonconformity to the EMS audit criteria should be recorded – Information gathered through interviews should be verified by acquiring supporting information from independent sources, such as observations, records and results of existing measurements. Nonverifiable statements should be identified as such – Appropriate samples should be collected


– The audit-team should review all of their audit evidence to determine where the EMS does not conform to the EMS audit criteria. – Nonconformities should be documented in a clear, concise manner and supported by audit evidence. – Audit findings should be reviewed with the responsible auditee manager with a view to obtaining acknowledgement of the factual basis of all findings of nonconformities – If within the agreed scope, details of audit findings of conformity may also be documented, but with due care to avoid any implication of absolute assurance


– Required before writing the report – Purpose is to present audit findings to the auditee in such a manner as to obtain their clear understanding and acknowledgement of the factual basis of the audit findings – Disagreement should be resolved, if possible before EMR issues the report – Final decisions on the significance and description of the audit findings ultimately rest with the EMR, though the auditee may still disagree with these findings


Audit Report
– The audit report is prepared under the direction of the EMR, who is responsible for its accuracy and completeness – The topics to be addressed in the audit report should be those determined in the audit plan.

– dated and signed by the EMR – should contain findings/summary with reference to supporting evidences – the agreed objectives, scope and plan of the audit – the agreed criteria, including a list of reference documents against which the audit was conducted – dates and times – identification of the auditees' representatives participating in the audit – the identification of the audit-team members – distribution list – summary of the audit process including any obstacles encountered – audit conclusions on conformance, suitability, and effectiveness


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful