• Jared M
    Hi everyone, hopefully a pretty basic question- you might even be able to give confirmation that I have answered it myself.

    Currently Im just doing some study and the report Im doing for a "uninitiated" organisation is to explain principles 4 & 5 of AS/NZS4801.

    Im just a little unsure on how to word, or if its entirely correct the following:

    It seems while related that many people interchange the use of words audit and review (performance) but they are in fact two separate things- a audit is a systematic process of to determine if the system is properly implemented ( and has met performance objectives within its policy) where as a review is completed (usually after and partly based on audit findings) the suitability of the system to an organisation with the aim of finding areas to improve overall performance including the auditing process.

    Any thoughts on how I can differentiate the two more clearly and in a way understandable to someone who knows nothing about the standards or systems would be great

    Thanks in advance


  • Sheri GreenwellAccepted Answer
    - that's a great start.

    Many people also use audit interchangeably with inspection, which further muddies the water!!

    Here's how I think of these:

    Inspection: physically looking at workplace conditions and work being carried out - a simple snapshot of what is happening at a moment in time.

    Audit: look at work planned (procedures and other elements of the management system) vs work done - comparison between what the system says people do and what they actually do. In an audit, we talk to people about what they do and how they do it, look at work being done, look at records of the work to verify whether or not work is being carried out as planned - completely and consistently. The auditor's findings are then collated into a report with any recommendations for follow-up actions.

    Review: Analysis of relevant information from audit findings, performance data, budgets, and other factual information about relevant processes and systems, to make decisions about the effectiveness of the management systems and plan actions for improvement where appropriate.

    I hope that helps a bit. All the best with your report!
  • Rowly Brown
    You have a fair grip on the subject, and Sheri has enhanced that.

    Here is my analysis of the terms, having spent many many years conducting both activities.

    Inspection: the physical examination of something, typically a piece of plant such as a machine, motor vehicle (WOF), or a workplace, usually to discover / disclose any defects present that might amount to non-compliance, a safety concern, a quality issue, omissions etc. An Inspection Report should report on findings and might recommend changes / improvements.

    Audit: an evidence-based assessment of conformance with specific criteria or standard(s) e.g. Tax Audit, Quality Systems audit, H & S systems audit, typically to assess, identify, and report on conformance / nonconformance with the criteria. An Audit Report should detail whether the audited body is meeting the criteria it has committed to or is obliged to meet, and may include recommendations.
  • Jared M
    thanks Sheri! I like how you have worded audits as looking at planned vs done. Makes it pretty clear. Valued reply.
  • Jared M
    thanks. Much appreciated addition
  • Tania Curtin
    To my mind, an audit is a formal assessment against specific criteria, whereas a review is often more informal, and can include more open questions, rather than very particular criteria.
    I hope that is helpful.
  • Chris Peace
    Pretty much as Jared has written but we are dealing with a standard so we should check the definitions in the standard and, if there are none, the ISO definitions. But first, the status of 4801.
    AS/NZS4801 is due to be superceded by AS/NZS ISO45001. I've asked Standards NZ when that will happen.
    Audit is defined in 4801 but not review.
    For recent definitions we should look at ISO19011 "Guidelines for auditing management systems" to be used when auditing a management system standard such as 45001. ISO19011 defines an audit as a “systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining audit evidence and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which the audit criteria are fulfilled”. Audit evidence is then defined.
    Review is an “activity undertaken to determine the suitability, adequacy and effectiveness of the subject matter to achieve established objectives”.
    And beware: ISO19011 has been revised and is now the 2018 edition but Standards Australia and NZ have not yet adopted it so we are still on the 2014 AS/NZS. More on that later.
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