What is the difference between second and third party audits?

What is the difference between second and third party audits?


Let’s start by remembering that audits are review exercises in which we evaluate how the entire operation and documentation of the organizations is being carried out, regardless of size, line of business or location.

Certification audits on ISO standards through the collection of qualitative and quantitative evidence, indicates that the behavior of organizations is being carried out properly and pursuing the goals and objectives that have been established either in the short, medium or long term.

Audits can be applied in two areas:

Voluntary : when organizations resort to certification on their own to differentiate themselves and offer a better product and service.

Mandatory: by some kind of official disposition that must be followed or by the requirement of a client.


What makes second party audits different from third party audits is that they focus on schemes and guidelines for an organization’s compliance on performance and quality to a third party, often those who are audited in third party are suppliers or subcontractors, let’s put it in the supply chain.

The objective of this type of audit is to ensure and determine the adequacy of processes to meet the needs and expectations that are or will be contracted.

For the execution of a second party audit, the inspection is performed on site, currently some organizations have chosen to audit their third parties remotely, by means of applications or sites that allow to carry out inspections in an adequate way and mainly with security.



  • Receive excellent quality products
    Promote a safe and faultless work environment
    Contemplate social responsibility
    Avoid process interruptions
    Avoiding monetary and human resource losses
    Growth of the organization requesting the audit as with the third party
    Improved supply chain performance


  • Increased reliability for your customers
    Differentiation and a plus for your competitors
    Better job performance
    Economic growth
    Fulfillment of your organization’s goals and objectives

    As you can see, second and third party audits review the foundations of your organization (documents and processes) and help to ensure that they are adequate and are being executed effectively. They also focus on each area, detecting failures and areas of opportunity, which will give you starting points to reinforce and improve for the well-being and health of your company.

    Depending on the need you need to cover, a second or third party audit will be applied and let’s remember that ISO standards apply to any type of organization, which facilitates its implementation.

    In QAlliance we are here to support you if you want to get certified or audit your supply chain, we have a qualified team to provide you with a quality and personalized service to meet your goals, contact us for more information.

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