ISO 10011-3 1991 Standard in Plain English

Guidelines for Managing Quality Audit Programs

The ISO 10011-3 standard is now obsolete. It has been
replaced by the new ISO 19011 2011 auditing standard.

This web page is based on the ISO 10011-3:1991 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 10011-3 1991 is now OBSOLETE <<<

Develop audit

  • Develop an audit management process that is  formally separate and entirely independent of  the quality system to be audited.                            


Select audit

  • Select an audit manager. Your manager must:

    • Have practical quality system audit experience

    • Identify the quality standards that will be  used to perform the quality system audit. 

    • Ensure that audit teams will be competent  and capable of performing quality audits.

    • Select auditors and lead auditors. However,  a separate auditor evaluation panel should  approve the audit manager's selection.


Select auditors 

  • Your audit manager should select auditors who:

    • Understand the standards that will be applied during the audit.                         

    • Are familiar with the auditee's products, services, and activities.                   

    • Have studied the regulations that govern the auditee's activities.                           

    • Have the technical qualifications needed to carry out an audit.                              

    • Have the professional qualifications needed to carry out an audit.                         


Select lead

  • Your audit manager should select a lead auditor who has the appropriate knowledge and skill, and who also knows how to:                                                 

    • Manage and motivate the audit team. 

    • Exploit the talent and expertise of team members.


Manage the
audit process 

  • Your audit manager should manage the audit process. The audit manager should:                            

    • Ensure that all auditors and lead auditors are knowledgeable and suitably trained.              

    • Develop and enforce a code of ethics to govern the audit process.                             

    • Monitor and evaluate the performance  of their audit team in order to improve  their efficiency and effectiveness.                  

    • Ensure that all auditors make the same  observations and draw the same conclusions  when confronted with the same evidence. Audit  managers should help guarantee consistency.


Support the
audit process 

  • Your audit manager should support the audit process. The audit manager should:                          

    • Plan and schedule audit activities. 

    • Perform the audit reporting process. 

    • Control the audit follow-up process. 

    • Protect the confidentiality of audit information. 

    • Ensure that auditors have the resources they need.


continuous improvement 

  • Your audit manager should support and encourage  both auditors and other personnel to continuously  improve the audit process.                                  


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Updated on November 29, 2014. First published on June 6, 1997.

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