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October 23, 2008

Self Assessment or Audit?

Hi, my first blog so I hope this works...

Something I've reflected on, but still not convinced myself about, is the difference between assessment and audit. I've stripped this right back to basics had a look at the dictionary which defines Audit as:

"a formal, often periodic examination and checking of accounts or financial records to verify their correctness"

Assessment - to estimate or determine the significance, importance, or value of

The process of applying for the EFQM award is a documented formal process (Davyon explained this). It is periodic, once a year if you wish to apply, no examination is taking place but the assessor is benchmarking his/her perceived view of the company against a prescribed assesment critria to create the 75 page document. Once this is submitted, assuming there is enough points to continue, some form of checking by external assessors is required to verify it's correctness or accuracy. I think the key part is for me is the last part of audit definition, "verify their correctness", even though it may be a very non prescriptive assessment, an independent body, external to the organisation, is deciding whether they agree with your findings in a 75 page report i.e. whether  the report is correct.