Document Reviews

Documents are reviewed before an audit and during an audit. The relevant documents are reviewed before an audit to:

  • Gather information to plan your audit activities and develop work documents
  • Examine the extent of the documentation to detect possible gaps

Documents, records, and prior audit reports are included in this review. Auditors should consider the size, nature, and complexity of the organization and system, as well as, the audit objectives and scope.

During the audit, the applicable documents are reviewed to:

  • Determine conformity of the documented system with audit criteria
  • Gather information to carry out and support your audit activities

You may integrate this onsite review with other audit activities and continue it throughout the audit, if it is not detrimental to the audit effectiveness.
If adequate documentation is not provided in the timeframe given in audit plan, you should inform the audit program manager and auditee. A decision will be made to continue the audit, or suspend it until the documentation concerns are resolved.

When reviewing documents before or during an audit, determine if the provided information is:

  • Complete (expected content is contained in the document)
  • Correct (conforms to reliable sources such as standards)
  • Consistent (within the document and with related documents)
  • Current (the content is up to date)

Determine if the documents cover the audit scope and provide sufficient information to support the audit objectives. Consider if the use of information and communication technologies promotes the efficient performance of the audit.

Consider the specific care needed for information security due to applicable regulations on the protection of data. And, consider security for information which is outside the audit scope, but may be contained in the document under review.

When reviewing documents, remember that the review can also give you an indication of the effectiveness of document control within the management system.

Note: See clauses 6.3.1, 6.4.3, and Annex B.2 of ISO 19011:2011 for more on document reviews.