ISO 10011-2 1991 Standard in Plain English

Guidelines for Selecting Quality Auditors

The ISO 10011-2 standard is now obsolete. It has been
replaced by the new ISO 19011 2011 auditing standard.

This web page is based on the ISO 10011-2:1991 Quality Standard 
published by the International Organization for Standardization
It presents a comprehensive interpretation of this standard 
using language that is clear and easy to understand.

>>>  ISO 10011-2 1991 is now OBSOLETE <<<

Auditors must
be educated 

  • Auditors must be reasonably well educated. Auditors must have at least a high school diploma and be able to write and speak clearly and effectively.                                   


Auditors must
be trained 

  • Auditors must be trained. They should know how to:

    • Use standards to evaluate quality systems.

    • Collect information, evaluate evidence,  make observations, and draw conclusions.              

    • Plan, organize, and manage an audit, and  prepare and deliver an audit report.                     


Auditors must
be experienced 

  • Auditors must be experienced. They should have:

    • Four years of work experience, including  two years in the quality assurance field.               

    • Participated in at least four quality  audits covering at least 20 days.                         


Auditors must be

  • Auditors must be knowledgeable. Their understanding  of quality systems, standards, and audit procedures  should be current and accurate.                     


Auditors should
have character 

  • Auditors should have character. They should be:

    • Fair

    • Calm

    • Logical

    • Sensitive

    • Intelligent

    • Analytical

    • Tenacious

    • Respectful

    • Trustworthy

    • Courageous

    • Open-minded

    • Single-minded


Auditors should
have talent 

  • Auditors should have talent. They should be able to:

    • Think in general terms. 

    • Make realistic evaluations. 

    • Analyze complex systems. 

    • Stay on track and finish the job.

    • Respect the feelings of all participants. 

    • Resist the pressure to change the truth. 

    • Manage personal and interpersonal stress.

    • Draw rational conclusions on the basis of evidence. 

    • Evaluate evidence in a fair and impartial manner. 


Auditors should
be competent 

  • Auditors should be competent. To assure competence:

    • Evaluate auditors at least every three years.

    • Confirm that auditors have current knowledge.

    • Make sure that auditors are trained and retrained.

    • Verify that auditors know all about:

      • Auditing methods and procedures.

      • Quality systems, standards, and requirements.


Auditors should
be selected by
an evaluation

  • Set up a panel of judges to evaluate auditor  qualifications and to select the best candidates. 

    • For an internal audit, panel members should be  selected by the auditee organization's management. 

    • For a customer audit, panel members should be  selected by the customer or his representative. 

    • For an independent audit, panel members should  be selected by a body that certifies auditors.

  • Evaluate auditor candidates by:

    • Interviewing the candidates.

    • Examining their written work.

    • Checking with former employers.

    • Observing their work performance.

    • Reviewing their education and training.


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Updated on July 20, 2012. First published on June 6, 1997.

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