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Task 23: We have conducted internal audits of the 50001 Ready system and reported those results and corresponding corrective/preventive action items to top management

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Detailed Guidance: Internal Audit

Getting It Done

  • Appoint an EnMS internal audit program manager.
  • Develop a documented procedure that addresses the planning and conducting of EnMS internal audits and the reporting of audit results.
  • Identify personnel to serve as EnMS internal auditors and train them on ISO 50001 EnMS requirements, internal auditing management systems, and your internal audit procedure.
  • Conduct regularly scheduled EnMS internal audits to identify areas of success and areas in need of improvement.
  • Record the results of your organization’s internal audits on the Audit Finding Form . Alternatively, record negative findings in the Corrective Action/Preventive Action Request Form and list the positive findings within an audit report or other summary of the audit results.
  • Assign responsibility to the management representative or the EnMS internal audit program manager to ensure that internal audit results are reported to top management, typically in the management review process (see Management Review).

Task Overview

An internal audit checks your energy performance and the implementation and effectiveness of your EnMS. It is a systematic and independent process that must be documented. Internal auditors collect and objectively evaluate evidence to determine whether your organization is meeting the requirements of its EnMS and ISO 50001.

Management system audits are system-focused; they are very different from other types of audits with which you may be familiar, such as environmental compliance audits or financial audits. Hence, training in management system auditing is critical for internal auditors. Appropriate resources will be needed to ensure that this training is provided, either in-house or by an external training provider.

The energy management representative often has overall responsibility for the internal audit program. But some organizations assign a separate internal audit program manager.

If your organization has an internal audit program in place for another management system (such as ISO 9001 quality, ISO 14001 environmental, and OHSAS 18001 safety and health), then leverage that existing process and the available in-house internal auditing expertise. However, if you do not already have an internal audit program in place, it is highly recommended that you review the 50001 Ready Navigator resource, Introduction to Internal Auditing Concepts , as well as attend an internal auditing or lead auditor training course to learn how to manage and conduct internal audits.

The results of internal audits, both positive and negative, must be recorded and communicated to top management. These results are often recorded on an audit finding form, a corrective action form, and/or an audit report. It can also be in the form of a PowerPoint presentation. Regardless of the specific style and format used, the results should be communicated with two specific objectives in mind:

  1. Providing objective evidence of effective implementation of the audit process and
  2. Allowing for corrective action to be addressed and for follow-up requirements to be established and initiated.

At the completion of this task, you will have…

  • Developed a documented internal audit procedure
  • Developed the audit schedule
  • Developed the audit plan
  • Selected and trained internal auditors
  • Conducted internal audits
  • Reported internal audit results to top management
  • Maintained records of results

This guidance is relevant to Section 4.6.3 of the ISO 50001:2011 standard.


Full Description

ISO 50001 requires that you document your internal audit process. This process typically includes:

  • Purpose of the audit
  • Planning and scheduling the audit
  • Auditor training requirements
  • Conducting the audit
  • Documenting the audit results
  • Communicating the results to management
  • Maintaining records

Consider the information provided here when developing an internal audit process that is suited for your organization. Make sure that the procedure clearly identifies the roles and responsibilities of the personnel involved. Structuring the procedure around what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, who needs to do it, and what records will be maintained helps to communicate clearly the expectations for the internal audit system.

Internal audits must be conducted at planned intervals; they are not surprise activities. The audit program manager (or the management representative) prepares an EnMS internal audit schedule that:

  • addresses auditing both energy performance and the management system,
  • considers the status and importance of the areas and processes, and
  • considers the results of previous audits.

Since ISO 50001 requires that you consider the status and importance of areas and processes when developing the audit schedule, attention typically is given to the areas and processes associated with the following:

  • Significant energy uses
  • Energy objectives
  • Energy targets
  • Energy management action plans
  • Operational and maintenance controls
  • Activities related to sustaining energy improvements over time

The internal audit schedule usually covers an annual period, but may be for shorter or longer periods. You may decide to conduct one internal audit per year that covers the entire EnMS. Or, you may decide to conduct a series of shorter audits that together cover all of the EnMS requirements within a defined period. Some organizations decide to conduct internal audits of energy performance separately from internal audits of the management system. Whatever approach you use, schedule audits based on status and importance of the areas and processes.

Following is an example highlighting the status and importance in developing an audit schedule:

XYZ Corporation implements a steam trap program as part of an action plan to reduce energy losses. The internal audit schedule indicates that the steam trap program will be audited twice within the time frame covered by the audit schedule. The first internal audit will assess whether initial implementation of the steam trap program has been accomplished. Later in the audit schedule, the steam trap program will be re-audited to ensure that the routine inspections of the steam traps are being conducted as planned and that the program is effective in reducing steam losses.

Once you have conducted internal audits, adjustments to the audit schedule may be needed based on the results of those audits.

Following is an example of adjustments to an audit schedule:

In this case, the organization’s annual internal audit schedule indicates two internal audits of a specific significant energy use (e.g., interior and exterior lighting across the building complex). If no nonconformities are identified when audits of that significant energy use are conducted, then next year’s internal audit schedule may be modified to include only one internal audit of that specific significant energy use. On the other hand, if the internal audits reveal a consistent lack of conformance with the organization’s EnMS requirements for that significant energy use, then the internal audit schedule for either the current year or next year (or both) may be revised to include additional audits of that significant energy use.

Examples of other reasons for modifying the audit schedule are:

  • New management initiatives
  • Organizational changes
  • Customer issues or needs
  • Process changes
  • EnPIs not being met
  • New or revised energy objectives or targets

The internal audit schedule may be in any format that meets your organization/s needs. Often, the schedule identifies the processes and functions/areas to be audited and the planned date(s). Some audit schedules only indicate what EnMS processes and performance will be audited and when. In either case, ensure that:

  • the status and importance of the functions and areas is considered, and
  • all EnMS processes and ISO 50001 requirements are audited in all applicable functions or areas within a defined period of time.

Several examples of audit schedules, as well as an Internal Audit Schedule Template , are available to help you consider the format that is best for your organization: Internal Audit Schedule (example) , Format for Internal Audit Schedule-Commercial Building (example) , Format for Internal Audit Schedule-Manufacturing (example) .

An internal audit plan or agenda is prepared for each internal audit. Typically, this plan is prepared by the internal audit program manager, a lead auditor, or audit team leader. It often includes the following basic information:

  • Date(s) of the audit
  • Objectives of the audit
  • Processes and area(s) to be audited
  • Auditor(s) responsible for auditing each process and area
  • Timing
  • Requirements (criteria) and references

Examples of common audit objectives are to evaluate the following:

  • Conformity with the requirements of ISO 50001 and the EnMS
  • Conformity with the established energy objectives and targets
  • Implementation and effectiveness of the EnMS
  • Energy performance improvement

Examples of processes to be audited include, but are not limited to, those associated with the following:

  • Management responsibility
  • Significant energy uses
  • Energy objectives
  • Energy targets and energy management action plans
  • Communication and awareness
  • Operational and maintenance controls
  • Control of documentation
  • Internal audits
  • Corrective action and preventive action

The Internal Audit Plan-Commercial (example) , the Internal Audit Plan-Industrial (example) , and the Internal Audit Plan Template can help you develop an audit plan.

Internal audits are conducted by personnel who have been trained in internal auditing for management systems. The pool of internal auditors should have cross-functional representation. The audits can be conducted by a single auditor or by one or more teams. In either case, the person(s) conducting the internal audit needs to be objective and impartial, and does not audit his or her own work. Internal auditors are usually trained by experienced internal auditors or by an external training course provider.

Auditor training typically consists of the following:

  • Requirements of ISO 50001
  • Objectives of the audit
  • How to develop and use a checklist
  • How to collect and assess objective evidence
  • How to document both positive and negative findings
  • How to prepare a report of the results

Internal audits identify both areas of success and areas in need of improvement. In conducting the audit, the internal auditors focus on determining if your organization is:

  • doing what it says it will do,
  • conforms with its energy objectives and targets,
  • continually improving its EnMS, and
  • achieving improvement in energy performance.

Both the selection of auditors and the method for conducting the audits need to demonstrate that the process is objective and impartial. Each auditor is expected to carry out his or her assigned responsibilities as set out in the audit plan.

When conducting an internal audit, auditors collect objective evidence by:

  • interviewing personnel,
  • observing activities,
  • reviewing documents, and
  • examining records and data.

Audit checklists are often used to help organize and document the evidence and the audit findings.

Some organizations record internal audit findings on an Audit Finding Form . Other organizations record negative findings directly onto a Corrective Action/Preventive Action Request Form and list the positive findings within an audit report or other summary of the audit results. It is up to you how your audit results are recorded.

The reporting of internal audit results to top management is part of the management review process (see Management Review). The level of detail presented on the audit results should be appropriate to the needs of top management. Corrective action on negative findings should be taken in a timely manner.

ISO 50001 requires you to maintain records of internal audit results, both positive and negative. Typical records consist of the following:

  • Audit schedule
  • Audit plan(s)
  • Auditor training records
  • Audit nonconformity reports or completed corrective action records
  • Audit reports of findings

More detailed information about internal auditing is presented in Introduction to Internal Auditing Concepts . It is strongly recommended that if your organization is new to ISO management systems, you should review fully that document.


Use this Notes section to save information for communication with other members of your project team, they will be able to see these Notes whey they are logged in to the 50001 Ready Navigator. Notes examples include dates of meeting with relevant personnel for completion of a portion of the task, decisions that have been made about task implementation, or perhaps a link to a file in your organization's shared drive that contains a completed worksheet or template. Please note, do not enter any information in here that you would not want shared with any members of the project team or the site's administrative staff.

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Resources

Resources
Name Type Description
Internal Audit Schedule Template docx This template provides users a monthly overview when beginning to schedule internal audits.
Format for Internal Audit Schedule-Commercial Building (example) pdf An example format for an annual Internal Audit Schedule by department/function. This format is designed to capture the auditing of all EnMS processes and energy performance improvements across all relevant departments/functions.
Format for Internal Audit Schedule-Manufacturing (example) pdf An example format for an annual Internal Audit Schedule by department/function. This format is designed to capture the auditing of all EnMS processes and energy performance improvements across all relevant departments/functions.
Internal Audit Schedule (example) pdf An audit schedule filled in to provide users with a demonstration of what the audit schedule may simulate.
Internal Audit Plan-Commercial (example) pdf An audit schedule filled in with commercial building headers to provide users with a demonstration of what the audit schedule may simulate.
Internal Audit Plan-Industrial (example) pdf An audit schedule filled in with industrial facility headers to provide users with a demonstration of what the audit schedule may simulate.
Internal Audit Plan Template docx A template that can be used when starting an internal audit plan.
Audit Finding Form docx Template for users to document audit findings.
Introduction to Internal Auditing Concepts pdf A detailed overview of internal audit concepts.