Internal audits are part of the procedures that companies apply to measure business processes. Internal audits are often routine affairs that occur before an annual external audit. If a company plans to obtain certification from the International Organization for Standardization, it might conduct a special internal audit to determine that internal processes meet ISO standards.

Quality Management

The ISO formulates quality standards for technology and business across many industries. The most common of these address quality management and are classified as ISO 9000 standards. These standards cover documentation, process planning, resource management, human resources, customer processes and customer satisfaction. ISO 9001:2008, Section 6.2 specifically addresses the human resources functions of a business. Detailed knowledge of this standard is essential for businesses that are preparing for audits or that wish to improve their human resources functions.

Checklist Purpose

To verify whether the guidelines set out in the ISO quality-management standards have been met, businesses can prepare a checklist. A satisfactory result means that the business should proceed with the ISO certification process, hire an accreditation firm to execute an audit and apply for certification. If the checklist shows that the business doesn't complying with the requirements, it should improve its systems rather than use time and resources on the audit. After updating its systems and processes, the business can go through the checklist again to verify the company is functioning up to ISO standards and likely to pass certification.


ISO standards require that the company's workers obtain a certain skill level and have the qualifications necessary to perform their jobs. The employees must have obtained sufficient education and experience in the field in which the business operates. This ensures that the company's workforce is knowledgeable, can produce quality products and offer services that meet customer expectations. The standards emphasize the need for training and proper documentation of training practices and outcomes.

Audit Questions

HR departments that are preparing for an ISO internal audit must be ready to respond to questions about training and the employees that received the training. They must provide documentation on the effectiveness of the training and actions taken to improve the training process. They also must provide documentation of the job descriptions for each job the company offers along with details of the qualifications, skills, education and experience of the persons currently holding these jobs. The documentation must also include the company's response to employee deficiencies. For example, it must detail the training programs offered to employees lacking certain skills for their jobs. There isn't a single checklist that every organization uses, so organizations create checklists that fit their situations.