How is the internal audit plan structured?

QM blog

An internal audit is used to evaluate and improve a company's quality management system. It is usually carried out by trained employees who check the entire structure and process organization of their facility for conformity with the standard requirements of the set of rules. The following 6 steps are necessary to carry out an audit:

1. Initiate an internal audit

The audit team leader is responsible for preparing and carrying out an audit. If only one auditor carries out the audit, then he is the team leader in personal union. In a first step, he contacts the area to be audited and informs the employees about the audit date, audit goals, audit plan, audit scope, methods and the composition of the audit team.

2. Prepare internal audit

In this phase of the audit, the audit team leader checks the management system documentation if he is not aware of it or if significant changes have been made. A report should be drawn up on the document review. This contains the formal and content-related deficiencies, the reference to the set of rules and improvement measures that can remedy the deficiencies. The audit team should then compile the documents that are necessary to carry out the audit. These are, for example, checklists and plans for audit samples, forms for recording information, etc.

3. Perform an internal audit

When the day of the audit has come, an opening meeting should always take place first. It is moderated by the head of the audit team and includes top management and the executives involved. The meeting serves to coordinate all parties involved in the audit so that the audit activities can be carried out as specified in the audit plan. This is followed by the actual audit. This can be carried out using various methods: interviewing employees, participating observation, checking documents and records as well as reports from other sources, such as customer feedback or external surveys.

4. Draw up an internal audit report

The audit report contains audit findings and audit conclusions from the audit carried out. Audit findings are results from the evaluation of the collected audit evidence and show the conformity or non-conformity with regard to the set of rules. The conclusions are then the result of an audit after taking into account the audit objectives and all audit findings.

5. Complete the internal audit

An internal audit is finished when all planned audit activities have been carried out or as agreed with the client. This is the case when the audit report has been submitted to and accepted by the parties involved.

6. Identify improvement measures

The conclusions of the audit can indicate the need for preventive and improvement measures. These are usually decided by the company and carried out within an agreed period.

An internal audit is a helpful measure to prepare for an external audit by a certification organization. A certification organization that specializes in the certification of vocational training institutions is CERTQUA GmbH ( It is an ISO 17021 accredited certification organization for education and service organizations. In addition, CERTQUA is accredited as a “specialist body” on the basis of the AZAV ordinance.


6 steps on how to conduct an internal audit