Third Party Audits Should be an Integral Part of Your Audit Program

What can we do for you?

As consultants, we are frequently asked to conduct a variety of third-party audits ranging in scope from corporate management systems to process safety management compliance and an incredible diversity of topics in between.   A question that we are frequently asked is: Why should we invest time and financial resources into third party auditing?  Some typical follow up client statements to that question are:


Clearly, some of these positions are understandable while others are difficult to defend. Experienced auditors have likely heard some variation of these and more when asked about third-party audits.   To address these concerns and maximize the impact of limited budgets, organizations should consider a flexible, hybrid approach to utilizing third party auditors.

This approach can take a couple of forms:

  1. Alternating first party (internal) audits with third-party independent audits.
  2. Fielding audit teams comprised of a third-party lead auditor and a mixed audit team comprised of third-party auditors and company staff from other the auditee’s other locations or business units.

Utilizing a mixed audit team is the most attractive and economical option for most organizations but the lead auditor should be from a third-party organization and retain the final authority to determine what will be reported as a finding or “non-conformance”.

Objectivity and Audit Expertise

Third party auditors have the benefit of a diverse client base and the advantage of conducting compliance audits in diverse occupational work environments across a range of industries.  While audits are inherently unique to each site or operation, there are a series of best practices that can be shared among the group of clients, which only serves to strengthen each individual audit program. This industry-wide knowledge held by the third-party auditor can help validate existing programs and provide recommendations for growth or change when necessary.

Due to its objective position, the results of a third-party audit often provide a more accurate view of what is occurring within an auditee’s organization. While initial third-party audits often show unexpected findings or non-conformances, many auditees realize that these results are uncovering long-standing issues of non-compliance and opportunities for loss control that can be quickly corrected, thereby leading to a positive ROI for the audit program.  It’s amazing how often a client’s management tells us that they been conducting internal audits for years with only a minimal number of low to moderate severity findings and how shocked they are by the results of a truly independent audit.  We often tell a new client considering third party audits; just let us audit one of your sites and you will see the clear benefits.

Please reach out to us at or call us at +1-832-403-2135 to learn more about our third-party auditing services.

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