07. Jan 2015

Integrated management systems

Audits as providers of development leverage for organizations

Starting point

Thanks to the revisions of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, which are under way, changed approaches can be pursued.

The process approach is to be intensified. A decisive new concept is the risk based approach. In this approach, taking into account of risks is integrated at many levels: in the process approach, in leadership and, very strongly, in the clause discussing planning. When planning the system, the most important risks will have to be identified adequately - among other things in relation to conformity and customer satisfaction - whilst actually enabling the organization to seize opportunities.

The revision of ISO 14001, for its part, is aimed at ensuring that environmental management can, in future, be integrated in an organization’s business processes in a manner that is even more practice oriented. This is to enable the users to utilize the resulting potentials even better. Increased attention is paid to identifying risks and opportunities in connection with the significant environmental aspects, applicable legal requirements and requirements accepted on a voluntary basis. It is, above all, life cycle considerations and ecologically compatible product design that should be incorporated.

Can audits be perceived and accepted by organizations as providing development leverage for organizations?


Lessons learned

  • It is not until 2000 that the revision of ISO 9001 helped to start to focus QM deliberations on the processes. The occasion at that time was the change of paradigms in organizational development that had taken place about ten years ago (process approach).
  • Up to now, the changeover from a function approach in organizational development to a process approach has bee implemented by many companies half-heartedly (“thinking in boxes” is still prevalent).
  • While processes are being carried out, the emerging organizational knowledge base provides the Process Owners with the knowledge required to help them to take the right actions and decisions in a manner compatible with the actions and situations.
  • The resulting learning processes of those involved in the processes while the processes are being carried out within process management will enlarge the organization’s knowledge base.
  • The “principalities” existing within the organization will pursue their own interests. Thus horizontal harmonization of processes will be difficult.
  • ISO 9001:2008 demands an analysis of the interactions between the processes. In practice, the relevant specifications and measurement criteria will not be found always.
  • Very often the competent Management has too little knowledge, and there is a lack of clear commitment to the process focused organization.
  • It is the process description that is in the centre of interest and not the quality of the processes.
  • Changed basic conditions on the market will hardly be taken into account when planning the process results (process objectives). Contradictions between strategic goals and process objectives won’t be identified.
  • Correlations between processes, (which are reflected in indicators), will hardly be shown. This means that there will be hardly any analysis of effects and that cause-effect chains including QM indicators can hardly be derived.


Conclusions and expectations

  • The fact that the process approach has existed for quarter of a century (see the change of paradigms in organizational development) and a commitment to intensifying the process approach do not mean that the process approach is anchored in organizational practice.
  • Now the solution can definitely not be that Quality Representatives are advanced to Process Managers, Organizational Developers or Change Managers (even though a lot has already been achieved as far as training is concerned).
  • Audits will have to be changed from “static observations” (do processes occur as they are documented?) to “dynamic observations” (considering changed basic conditions when planning process quality).
  • Priorities and distinct interactions will also have to be taken into account. They support the process approach and foster thinking in terms of interrelations.
  • Audits need to be regarded as being part of “opportunity and risk management”. They support risk management by making it possible to identify possible problems in a timely manner.
  • Audits need to help to make statements about process, environmental and OH&S (occupational health and safety) performance (performance evaluation, keyword: effectiveness of systems). They enable tracking of developments (results in audit reports whilst considering the respective basic conditions).
  • Audits should address special audit objectives of the organization even more. Internal audits, in particular, will thus allow “experiments” by causing specific priorities to be set.
  • Organizations should define their audit strategy.
  • At audits, the congruence and consistency between the strategy and process goals will be reviewed.
  • At audits, the methodology for monitoring and measuring processes will be scrutinized.
  • Audits can help to make levels of knowledge traceable (in the sense of information relevant to actions and decisions).



Quarter of a century of “process approach” (Attention: see the change of paradigms in organizational development) is a long time. Even though the process approach is to be intensified at the ongoing revisions, this does not mean a lot for practice yet. Audits must succeed in helping to raise sufficient awareness of the necessity of change. First, a “dynamic audit practice”, including the definition of internal audit strategies, will have to be anchored within the organizations successfully. Then audits will also be perceived and accepted as providing possible development leverage to organizations by the organizations.


Network partner

Mr. Wolfgang Hackenauer, MSc

Network partner, Product Expert Environment and Energy

Contact Persons


Mr. Axel Dick, MSc

Executive Vice President Business Development Environment and Energy, CSR

Network partner

Mr. Wolfgang Hackenauer, MSc

Network partner, Product Expert Environment and Energy


Ms. Dr. Anni Koubek

Executive Vice President Innovation, Business Development Certification Quality

Network partner

Portraintfoto von Johann Russegger

Mr. Johann Russegger, MBA

Network partner, Product Expert Trainings Integrated Management System, Quality

Network partner

Mr. Peter Sattler, MAS

Network partner, Product Expert FSC CoC, PEFC CoC and ISO 38200

News & Events

The basis for long-term success!

08. Feb 2023

New International training program 2023

Start your next career adventure!

Learn more
10. Jan 2023

QMD Services obtains designation as a Notified Body for in vitro diagnostic devices

Milestone for the Medical Device Industry

Learn more
03. Jan 2023

Christian Matzku (50) takes over the Management of “Sales Steering” at Quality Austria

Sales professional starts at certification organization

Learn more
14. Oct 2022

The new EU Guideline on the implemen­tation of Food Safety Management Systems published

New developments for Food Businesses

Learn more
05. Oct 2022

What’s in for an Assessor?

Experience report from Mario Mauracher

Learn more
16. Sep 2022

New cooperation with ENFIT for highest standards

HQF Certification in supply chains acc. to the ENFIT Standard

Learn more
08. Aug 2022

The Many Uses of Lean Six Sigma

Guest article by Mischa Lucyshyn

Learn more
26. Jul 2022

Ransomware & other potential threat scenarios

07. Jul 2022

Building up Competency as Change Management

Continual Improvement Process

Learn more
07. Jun 2022

The five stumbling blocks you should dodge on your way to a management system

Mind the step!

Learn more
16. May 2022

25th anniversary of successful cooperation in certification

Alkaloid celebrates 25 years of successful cooperation

Learn more
03. May 2022

IFS Food Version 8 – first DRAFT version published

What changes and new features are coming

Learn more
+43 732 34 23 22