Internal auditor training by

The automotive industry is one of the most dynamic and demanding industries in the world. The supply chain must meet increasingly higher standards and customer expectations of the so-called OEMs and meet industry requirements, including those contained in the IATF 16949 standard. One of the key tools that allows you to confirm compliance with the requirements is an audit. Only a competent internal auditor can verify that the company is operating as required. And there are many requirements: IATF 16949, own quality management system requirements, customer specific requirements and legal regulations.

Audit planning in the automotive industry

According to ISO 9000:2015

Therefore, the audit should be scheduled at regular intervals. Such planning should be reflected in a documented audit program. Of course, such a program may also apply to other management systems, e.g. environment, safety, etc. Let us remember that the program serves to achieve the set goals. They may result from considering, for example, the needs and expectations of important interested parties, requirements regarding processes or products, or the requirements of the management system. The internal auditor confirms that these objective requirements have been met. Establishing an audit program is the role and at the same time a great responsibility of the person managing the audit program. It is important to remember to properly plan audits and assign competent people to them.

The audit program in the automotive industry should certainly include first-party audits, i.e. internal audits, second-party audits of suppliers and verification of software development (if applicable), which should also be confirmed by internal audits.

Internal auditor – what must be fulfilled?

Internal auditors in the automotive industry must meet certain competencies. So what are the requirements for internal auditors in the automotive industry? We will learn this from point 7.2.3 of the IATF 16949 standard.

First of all, it says that the organization should have a documented process verifying the competences of internal auditors. Also taking into account specific client requirements. Depending on what audits will be performed by the auditor, i.e. the quality management system or the manufacturing process or product, he or she should have at least the following competences:

Quality management system internal auditor

Quality management system auditors shall be able to demonstrate the following competencies in understanding:

  • the process approach to automotive audit, including risk-based thinking;
  • applicable customer-specific requirements;
  • ISO 9001 and IATF 16949 requirements related to the scope of the audit;
  • core tool requirements related to the scope of the audit;
  • how to plan, conduct, report, and close out audit findings.

Manufacturing process internal auditor

In addition, manufacturing process auditors shall demonstrate a technical understanding of the relevant manufacturing processes to be audited. Also process risk analysis (e.g. PFMEA) and control plan are included.

Product internal auditor

At a minimum, product auditors shall demonstrate competence in understanding of product requirements. Additionally the use of relevant measurement and test equipment to verify product conformity.

At the same time, auditors in the organization should conduct a minimum number of audits per year. It should be in accordance with the principles adopted in the organization. Additionally auditors should update their knowledge in case of internal changes in the organization (e.g. process and product technology). They should also be updated with external changes (e.g. ISO 9001, IATF 16949, key quality methods and customer specific requirements).


We must also not forget that, above all, the internal auditor should be independent from the audited area, so that he does not audit his own work. Auditor cannot be responsible for a given audit subject. This requirement can be found in the ISO 9001:2015 standard.

Internal auditor – benefits

There are several reasons why you should be an internal auditor of your quality management system. First of all, the internal auditor of the QMS helps the organization improve the quality of its products or services by identifying areas requiring improvement and suggesting solutions. It gives you the satisfaction of contributing to improving the quality of an organization’s products or services. An internal auditor also helps an organization achieve its business goals by ensuring that the quality management system is operating as required. This actually allows for increasing the effectiveness of the organization.

Being an internal auditor is also an opportunity to develop your own skills. This work requires high knowledge and skills. The internal auditor must be well versed in the requirements of ISO 9001, IATF 16949, key quality methods, etc. and have interpersonal skills such as communication and persuasion skills. Work as an internal auditor of the quality management system provides the opportunity to develop skills in these areas.


Auditing in the automotive industry is crucial to ensuring high quality of products and services. It supports improving the effectiveness and efficiency of processes in enterprises. The internal auditor plays a key role in this process, conducting independent and professional audits and identifying areas for improvement. However, to be effective in this role, an internal auditor must have specialized competences. Therefore we invite you to dedicated training courses organized by Qualitywise for future auditors in the automotive industry.

How to become an internal auditor with Qualitywise?

We invite you to our trainings:

Internal auditor in the automotive industry and Core tools for internal auditors

Ask about the next date.


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Agata Lewkowska Ph.D.

For people who want to know more:

Knowledge must have a solid foundation in order to avoid information noise. Therefore, the article was based on the following literature:

IATF 16949: 2016 Requirements for quality management systems in serial production and the production of spare parts in the automotive industry, 1st edition, 2016

ISO 9000:2015 Quality management systems — Fundamentals and vocabulary

ISO 9001:2015 Quality management systems — Requirements

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