Many auditors and lead auditors in South Africa operate as if they are registered but in fact you find out that they are not.
You normally discover this when it is too late and you have already experienced poor service delivery. Then you have nowhere to complain and demand the deficiencies to be rectified. The statement does not imply that all non-registered auditors are substandard in their field of expertise.
Why do we suggest you use a registered auditor/lead auditor? These auditors have been verified and validated as having a certain level of knowledge, skill and experience. Registered auditors/lead auditors are checked annually to ensure they maintain and continually improve their current competencies.
Registered auditor verificationRegistered providers are checked independently to ensure a certain standard of auditing is maintained. The benefit to you as the client/auditee is also that you can lodge an appeal to an independent body should the method of auditing or the conduct of the auditor not be up to standard.
There are two types of registered auditors you can make use of:
- Local (South African registered only)
- International (Globally accepted)
How do you check whether an auditor is registered? Below follows a step-by-step process of checking under the two largest personnel certification bodies in the world:
- IRCA (International Register for Certified Auditors) – Mostly for European auditors.
- RABQSA (now known as Exemplar Global) – Mostly American, Australian and Asian countries.
So let us look at how you check if an auditor’s IRCA registration is current:
- Go to www.irca.org website
- Go to “Find an Auditor”
- Identify under “country” – South Africa and click on “Find”
- A complete list of all current auditors and lead auditors registered in South Africa and their field of expertise will be listed. Select your name and click.
- This will then open up the individuals’ portfolio of which the following is important to verify:
- Is this persons registration still valid – normally renewable every 3 years?
- Can the person audit you in your industry sector?
- If the name you are looking for is not there you need to look at Exemplar Global below.
Now let us verify an auditor’s status with Exemplar Global (RABQSA):
- Go to www.exemplarglobal.org website.
- Go to “What we offer”
- Go to “Search for certified individuals or organisations”
- Type in surname and country
- Individual’s details and confirmation will show.
If the auditor’s details are not reflected on the applicable website you now need to ask your auditor proof of where they are registered and check if it is still valid and for the correct discipline.
Here are some of the common problems you need to look out for:
- Auditors perform audits in disciplines that they are not registered for. For example, an auditor is registered as a Quality auditor but performs a Health and Safety management system audit.
- Cards or registration status have expired.
Auditors and lead auditors are the eyes and ears of the management system. Ensuring that you use registered personnel can only benefit the organisation and the management systems.
Christel Fouche is registered with IRCA, Exemplar Global (RABQSA) and SAATCA as a Lead Auditor for ISO9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS18001 management systems.