An audit program is a set of one or more audits planned to occur within a specific time frame and with common purpose, prepared by the Quality Manager or Audit Manager. For example, consider an organization that intends to perform three internal audits in 2019 to evaluate the conformity of its quality management system. The audit program plans: what will be the scope of each audit (what clauses and/or processes); when will each audit take place (the first can be in February, the second in May and the third in October); sometimes organizations even identify who will be the internal auditors for each audit. One important thing is that an audit program approved by top management is a way of transmitting authority to the internal auditors to perform the audit.
An audit plan is prepared by the auditor(s) before each audit and aims to inform auditees about the audit objectives, audit scope, audit criteria, auditors, date and schedule of activities. For example, i f an audit includes auditing the Commercial Department, and audit plan informs, proposes, that the audit to that department occur between 10h00 and 11h00. An audit plan allows auditors to agree with auditees on a schedule.