New game an ideal training tool for any management system auditor
 Ottawa – DISTIL Interactive  announces a beta release date of February 1, 2009 for its Auditing Skills game. This will be the 10th off-the-shelf game designed by DISTIL, in partnership with the Canadian Standards Association. The Auditing Skills game can be used by companies using any management system, in order to train new auditors, accelerate auditor development and identify top-performing or underperforming auditors. The game is designed to help internal auditors develop the competencies specified in ISO 19011 guidelines.
The internal auditor role is a critical one in an organization, one that requires strong communication skills and effective investigative abilities, often in addition to the employee’s usual workplace role. According to auditing principles and the requirements specified in many Standards, individuals must be independent of the areas they are auditing to ensure impartiality and objectivity. Novices to the auditing field often express concerns around the interpersonal  skill requirements – auditing senior management can be especially daunting; and seek practice in the interpretation of evidence. This learning product provides a safe but challenging environment for learners to develop their competence as auditors. Strong training not only improves auditors’ personal performance, but leads to accurate and complete audit findings that can facilitate improved corporate performance.
In the game, learners perform the role of internal auditor in a virtual audit of a fictitious company’s Business Management System (BMS). The BMS requirements will appear familiar to anyone who is familiar with management system standards such as ISO 9001,
ISO 14001 or OHSAS 18001/Z1000/Z10. Documentation exists within the game to provide background information for the auditor – including a Policy statement, BMS Standard and BMS Manual.
To be successful, learners must demonstrate that they are able to keep their observations within the prescribed scope of their audit tasks; manage their audit interviewees deftly – using appropriate questioning techniques and maintaining rapport; and perform a correct evaluation of audit findings based upon the evidence they uncover. The learner is evaluated on their ability to uncover and evaluate evidence, and receives in-game feedback on their performance. There are multiple missions to complete, including interviews with employees of a variety of personality types and seniority.
“This game helps the auditor-in-training avoid real problems when auditing their own organizations by allowing them to practice the key methods of collecting evidence in a safe environment, with detailed feedback to help them learn from any mistakes.” commented Linda Lawrence, an international standards expert. “The auditing game meets the needs of auditors in training by providing them with an opportunity to learn how to conduct an audit–not just the practical theory, but how to actually do it,” adds Lawrence.
For more information, visit DISTIL’s webpage on the Auditing Skills game  or details on being a beta user.