The sequence starts with a conversation between the programme and the DCED Secretariat, to determine whether an audit is appropriate at this point. The conversation can then establish which parts of the system will be audited, and the level of effort that will be required. The programme itself hires a team of two DCED-approved Auditors to conduct the audit. The Auditors currently approved by DCED to lead audits are Alexandra Miehlbradt, Hans Posthumus, Nabanita Sen, Phitcha Wanitphon, Mihaela Balan, Ben Fowler and Muaz Jalil. For more information about them, please visit the listing of consultants expert in the Standard.
Lead Auditors are expert in the Standard and have completed at least two formal audits as part of a DCED team. At this point, and while experience is being gained in scoring the audit, the DCED in addition convenes a panel of all available Auditors to review the draft report and scoring sheets. The commissioning programme needs to add 6 working days to the contract for the lead auditor, to cover the cost of that panel.
The deliverable from the audit is an agreed report, giving percentage scores for achievement of the various elements of the Standard. The report also gives a complete commentary on the basis for the scoring, showing where the programme’s monitoring system is strong, and where improvements are recommended. The Auditors are barred from assisting with the improvement process, but the DCED Secretariat may be able to point programmes towards suitable sources of advice, for example here.