IAF Mandatory Document – Duration of QMS and EMS Audits

Date: 29 January 2009 

IAF published a new Mandatory Document IAF MD 5:2008 Duration of QMS and EMS Audits (Issue 1, issued on 1 February 2009; Application from 1 May 2009)

This mandatory document was derived from the guidance previously available in two documents, IAF GD2:2005 Annex 2 and IAF GD6:2006 Annex 1.  It provides mandatory provisions and guidance for CABs to determine the audit duration for stage 1 and stage 2 initial audits, surveillance audits and recertification audits.

A simple methodology is used to determine the audit duration (stage 1 plus stage 2) from tables based on the effective number of client personnel. For EMS audits, the duration varies according to the complexity of the audit. Factors which could add to, or subtract from the time are applied and checks made to ensure specified caveats are applied and any reductions in time do not exceed requirements specified in this document. The justification for the calculated time is recorded for future audit by an accreditation body.

These are the main issues:

  • The new IAF document reduces the percentage of time that has to be spent on site for QMS audits, to align with EMS.
  • The CAB has to audit each shift, with documented justification required for exceptions
  • It is unlikely that the duration of a stage 2 audit will be less than 1 auditor day
  • Appropriate reduction may be made for temporary unskilled personnel, or where a significant proportion of staff carry out a similar simple function

All IAF Mandatory documents are available from www.iaf.nu