The question put was 'How can I use Internal Audits to add value?', which generated this response:
Internal audits are sometimes just viewed as a necessity in order to meet the requirements of management systems such as ISO9001. Whilst it's true that you need to audit to demonstrate compliance with the standard, you can still use internal audits to add real value.
Internal audits should be seen as a way of gathering information to assist in decision making. For internal audits to add value, you need to understand what information the management team would find most valuable and see how audits can help to provide it.
For example, management might like to know whether their processes are operating effectively, whether new employees are fitting in, where money is being wasted in scrap and reworks, whether customers are satisfied, or where there are opportunities for improvement.
Internal audits can be used to gather data on all these issues - if the right approach is used and the data is analysed and communicated in the right format.
It may take time for the management team to appreciate the value of audits and the quality manager needs to work with the team to educate them on the resources that they have available to them. After all, internal audits have to be carried out to maintain certification, so use them to provide information that is of use to the organisation - rather than see it as just an overhead.