5.10 Audit plan

An environmental or social audit should be carried out by competent auditors following an audit plan that incorporates an agreed environmental audit protocol.

The audit plan should include, if applicable, the:

  • name and position of the auditee’s representative
  • audit objectives and scope audit criteria
  • organisational and functional units to be audited
  • functions and/or individuals within the auditee’s organisation that have significant direct responsibilities regarding the audit
  • elements of the auditee’s environmental and/or social management programs that are of high audit priority (based on risk)
  • procedures for auditing the auditee’s management program elements, as appropriate for the auditee’s organisation
  • working and reporting languages of the audit details of reference documents
  • expected time and duration for major audit activities
  • dates and places where the audit is to be conducted
  • names of audit team members
  • schedule of meetings to be held with the auditee’s management
  • report confidentiality requirements
  • report content, format and structure
  • expected date of issue and distribution of the report document
  • retention requirements.

A detailed audit plan provides a format for assigning specific tasks to individual members of the audit team, for comparing what was accomplished during the audit with the original audit plan, and for summarising and recording the work in progress and work completed.

An environmental or social audit is generally carried out in three phases: pre-audit activities, site activities and post-audit activities (Figure 14).

Figure 14: Audit phases
Audit phases

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