Why do we need an auditor

How can you become an auditor and what are the requirements for auditors?

A solid foundation is essential for audits to be implemented successfully. The auditors are a key success factor. In order to be able to work successfully as a QM auditor, it is important that prospective auditors and experts meet certain requirements. In many companies, when conducting audits, it is not always easy to ask the right questions about quality management in the right way. It is all too easy for the respondents to feel that their personal work performance is being questioned. In order to avoid such cliffs during the audit, auditors need very specific knowledge and qualifications.

Regardless of whether you work as an internal or external auditor or as a QM expert, it is important that you know which requirements you have to meet for your work. The following table shows you which requirements prospective QM auditors should bring with them, like theirs Work is to be assessed and what further training they should take regularly to maintain their qualifications.

What requirements does ISO 19011 place on auditors?

Section 7 of ISO 19011, the guideline for auditing management systems, presents competencies that a person should have. According to this section “Competence and Assessment of Auditors”, an auditor should:

  • correspond to the professional ethos, which means being fair, truthful, sincere and honest
  • Be open to considering alternative ideas or points of view
  • Be diplomatic and tactful with people
  • be attentive and watch closely
  • have a quick grasp of things
  • be flexible as well as persistent
  • be able to make decisions
  • Act confidently and independently
  • act responsibly and ethically
  • be open to improvement
  • be culturally sensitive and thus respect and respect the culture of the audited organization
  • interact effectively with the actors involved

What requirements should you have and what training does an auditor need?

The following table provides information on the prerequisites and experience that a successful auditor should bring. You will also find information on the necessary auditor training.

conditionsrequirementsAuditor training and experienceMaintaining the qualification for a period of 3 years


  • Higher school education (above elementary level) i.e. e.g. Realschule certificate or equivalent

  • 4 years of full-time professional experience, of which at least 2 years in QM

  • Auditor training; Within the auditor training, at least 3 audits (internal audits also count here), at least 1 observation of an external audit (third party)

  • Evaluation by the certification body

  • Annual participation in the exchange of experience Participation in at least 2 external audits within 3 years

  • Evaluation by the certification body including monitoring procedures every 3 years

Lead Auditor

- Like auditor -

  • Auditor training as with auditor

  • After observation, 4 audits lasting at least 20 days, 11 days of which on site as an independent external auditor (third party)

- Like auditor -


The qualification must be checked before use!

  • Min. Completed vocational training in special fields

  • Min. 4 years of full-time professional experience in this field

Overview of the audit cycle, its actors and the success factors for audits

In addition to the auditor, there are other parties involved in the audit process. These actors take on various roles and tasks during the audit cycle. Our video "Audit cycle and its actors" shows you which phases the audit process comprises and which roles the people involved in the audit take on. In order for a company to actually benefit from the audit, not only the auditor who carried out the audit must have the appropriate qualifications. In the video “Success Factors for Successful Audits” you will learn the foundations on which an effective audit is based. So take a look!