Webinar – Auditee Bill of Rights

Webinar: The Auditee Bill of Rights
Presenter: Larry Whittington
Date: Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM ET (10:00 AM PT)
Duration: One Hour
Price: $199

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As an audited organization, do you stand up for your rights? Or, to avoid conflict, do you just accept whatever comes your way during the audit experience? Maybe it is time for an Auditee Bill of Rights! This one-hour webinar will explain your rights as an auditee. You’ll learn what to expect and demand from your auditors and certification bodies. The eight areas of our Auditee Bill of Rights are: Choice, Information, Access, Participation, Respect, Confidentiality, Appeal, and Responsibility.


1. Choice: The auditee has the right to choose their certification body, and within the constraints of the contract, easily switch to a different certification body.

Are you aware of your choices? Do you know how to transfer to a different certification body?

2. Information: The auditee has the right to receive timely, truthful, accurate, and easily understood audit reports that describe the audit objectives, scope, criteria, sampling, and findings. Audit reports are to address conformity, effectiveness, areas for improvement, and any unresolved diverging opinions. In addition, the auditee is to be kept informed of changes to applicable standards and certification body policies.

Are you receiving well written audit reports? If they aren’t adding value, what can you do about it?

3. Access: The auditee has the right to communicate in a timely fashion with auditors before, during, and after the audit for an understanding of plans, interpretation of requirements, explanation of results, and confirmation that proposed corrective actions adequately address the reported nonconformities.

Do you know the contact information for your assigned auditor and your account manager at the certification body? Are you receiving good support?

4. Participation: The auditee has the right to participate in the planning and performance of the audit, including the audit agenda, audit team selection, proposed logistics, audit guides, and feedback on the audit experience. The auditee will be viewed as a partner to identify applicable requirements, provide needed evidence, and confirm possible findings.

Do you receive a copy of the audit plan prior to the scheduled audit? Are you being assigned different auditors from audit to audit, causing a lack of continuity? Are you given the opportunity to give your opinion of the auditor’s performance?

5. Respect: The auditee has the right to expect considerate, respectful behavior from the audit team and support staff at all times and under all circumstances.

Does your auditor prepare for the audit and minimize the disruption to your operations?

6. Confidentiality: The auditee has the right for the security and confidentiality of audit reports to be protected by all audit team members and report recipients. All auditee information maintained by the certification body will be available for review by the auditee for possible corrections and changes to the records.

Does your auditor offer consulting advice in conflict with the auditor code of conduct? Does that mean they might share your proprietary information when they consult with other organizations?

7. Appeal: The auditee has the right to a fair and efficient process for resolving differences, including a rigorous, written process for internal review and an independent system for external review. The documented appeal process will be publically accessible.

Does your auditor mention in the opening meeting that you can appeal nonconformities? Are you reluctant to appeal? Do you know the appeals process and who is the final arbiter?

8. Responsibility: In a system that protects auditee rights, it is reasonable to expect and encourage the auditee to assume a supporting role. The auditee is responsible for providing access during the audit to areas, people, documents, and records. The auditee is to announce the audit in advance, explain its value, and encourage employees to fully participate with helpful and truthful responses.

Does your management look at audits as penalty-free opportunities for improvement. Do they visibly support the audit program?

A five-page paper titled, “The Auditee Bill of Rights,” will be available as a handout.