C4.2 Types of Audit


Although the process of an audit is the same, there are different types of audits. These include:

  • EMS Audit
  • Waste Audit
  • Energy Audit
  • Supply Chain Audit
  • Due Diligence Audit


EMS Audit

An EMS Audit is an audit on an Environmental Management System. The purpose s to confirm that the organisation’s EMS complies with the requirements of the EMS (e.g. ISO 14001 or EMAS). It will include a review of the documented systems and a site visit.

Waste Audit

A Waste Audit will specially look at waste. The purpose may be to identify waste types, sources and quantities as a basis for a waste minimisation programme. It may also be specifically to look at the legislative compliance regarding waste activities.

Energy Audit

An Energy Audit will look specifically at energy. The purpose may be to identify energy usage data as a basis for an energy reduction programme.

Supply Chain Audit

A Supply Chain Audit will evaluate supplier performance. The purpose is to confirm that a supplier’s environmental performance is to an acceptable standard. They may be completed before a new supplier is used, or on existing suppliers on a periodic basis.

Due Diligence Audit

A Due Diligence Audit is usually undertaken to identify environmental hazards during land acquisition. The purpose may be to identify current and future liabilities relating to contaminated land and regulatory non-compliance. It may also include a review of potential future capital expenditure.

Internal and External Audits

Audits may also be termed internal audits and external audits. This simply refers to whether the auditor is an internal employee or an external person (such as verification audit by a 14001 auditor).

First, Second and Third Party Audits

In addition, an audit may be classed as first, second or third party audit.

First Party Audit

A first party audit is often also known as an Internal Audit. It will be completed by employees within the organisation, although on an area of the company that they are independent from. For example, an employee from the purchasing department might audit production, or an employee from a site in Leeds may audit a site in Bristol.

Second Party Audit

A second party audit is conducted by one organisation on its suppliers or contractors.

Third Party Audit

A third party audit is conduced by an independent external organisation. For example, this may be as part of ISO 14001 certification.