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A good audit report is critical

An audit report is an essential part of the audit and it’s purpose is to report what you have actually observed when on-site.  The audit report contents are therefore very important, so that there is an accurate record of what was seen.  I see a wide range of audit reports and a variety of styles adopted.  The worst form of “audit report” that I see simply lists any non-conformities that were seen.  Whilst these must be included, they are not a true audit report, as the report should be a record of what was seen during the audit, including any good points.

Audit report production

Some audit reports are produced originally as Word documents and some are produced using specialist audit software.  The latter can help ensure that all reports produced within the same organisation have the same content and structure, but on the downside they mean that important information may be omitted in a report, depending on how the source document or template has been set-up.

Audit report contents

Here is a list of things that should be included in the content of an audit report.

  • The name of the organisation, department, process or function being audited
  • The address of the site audited (for external audits)
  • The date and duration of the audit
  • The reason for performing the audit
  • The standard that was used during the audit
  • The name of the key contact for the audit (the host) and their contact details
  • The names of the auditors
  • The people at the opening meeting
  • The people at the closing meeting
  • A statement of confidentially
  • The audit programme or agenda
  • If there were any obstacles encountered
  • An overview of all areas seen during the audit, including what happens in these areas
  • Any non-conformities and observations that were raised
  • Any specific areas that were not looked at
  • A description of the meaning of any gradings of any non-conformities (for example Major or Minor)
  • The conclusions as a result of performing the audit
  • Instructions of what you want the organisation or department to do on receipt of the report. This is likely to be that they need to respond to any non-conformities raised and that you need to see evidence that effective corrective action has been taken.
  • A list of people who need to be sent the report

I hope this helps with the production of any audit reports and their content.  It is well worth including these so that the report makes sense to others in the future.  If you would like to add any thoughts or comments, then by all means do so.  Good luck with your auditing.

If you need any more detail on how to perform effective audits, then consider attending one of our highly praised auditor training courses.

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