You must first ensure that you have prior knowledge in terms of technical experience, subject expertise, supervisory and managerial experience to conduct a proper audit.
Next, you must undergo an auditor training course conducted by accredited bodies. Usually, a lead auditor training course will last anywhere from roughly five days for conventional courses to 30 hours for online courses. During auditor training courses, the topics listed below will be taught in-depth and clarity:
- Purpose and benefits of a quality management system
- Terminology that is used in specific standards (may vary with standards)
- Seven quality management principles
- High-Level Structure with Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle
- Explanation on Clauses 1 to 10 with realistic examples.
- Communicating the benefits of third-party certifications of QMS for organisations and relevant stakeholders.
- Gaining knowledge on the development and application of specific standards
- Explanation on the roles of an auditor in assessing an organisation’s ability to meet customer, statutory and regulatory requirements applicable to the product and the organisations own requirements
- Realistic case studies and exercises
Upon completing an auditor course, the next step would be to approach a Certification Body (CB) requesting auditing work. For a new auditor with limited experience, you will most likely be assigned as a technical expert or observer within an audit team to learn. As your auditing skills improve, the certification body you work for will most likely assign you as a team auditor. Through multiple audits and continuous assessment as a team auditor, the certification body will assess your competency and promote you to a lead auditor if appropriate.