This standard provides guidelines for auditors and organizations which need to conduct internal or external QM system audits or are required to manage audit programs. Other possible users of this standard are organizations which operate in the field of auditor certification or training as well as accreditation and standardization of conformity assessments. Even though this standard has been prepared only for auditing of QM systems, every user of the guidelines contained herein can extend or tailor it to any desired type of audit, including audits of other management systems. Furthermore, any other organization or individual interested in monitoring adherence to requirements such as product specifications or laws and regulations can regard the guidelines contained in this standard as helpful. The International Standard ISO 19011, which is the basis of this standard, has been prepared in a joint working group under the leadership of Technical Committee ISO/TC 176 "Quality management and quality assurance", Subcommittee SC 3 "Supporting technologies" (secretariat: AFNOR, France). Representatives of other technical committees, for instance ISO/TC 207, ISO/TC 34, as well as of other interested management system groups are also present as members of the responsible working group WG 16 in SC 3. The committee responsible for this standard is NA 147-00-07 GA "Audits" under the leadership of the standardization committee NA 147 "Qualitätsmanagement, Statistik und Zertifizierungsgrundlagen (NQSZ)" ("Quality Management, Statistics and Certification Standards Committee (NQSZ)") at DIN. This Joint Working Committee is composed of representatives of the following other standardization committees: NA 172 (NAGUS), NA 057 (NAL), NA 094 (KS), NA 095 (NASG), NA 031 (FNFW), NA 115 (NAVp).