Lead Auditor Requirements

ASME NQA-1 and ANSI N45.2.23

Education, Experience, and Training

The prospective Lead Auditor shall have verifiable evidence that a minimum of ten (10) credits under the following scoring system has been accumulated.

Education (4 credits maximum)

Associate degree in engineering, mathematics, physical science, business management, or quality assurance from an accredited institution score two (2) credits.

Bachelor’s degree in engineering, physical sciences, mathematics, or quality assurance from an accredited institution score three (3) credits and one (1) additional credit for a master’s degree.

Experience (9 credits maximum)

Technical experience in engineering, manufacturing, construction, operation, or maintenance, score one (1) credit for each full year with a maximum of five (5) credits for this aspect of experience.

If two (2) or more years of this experience have been in the nuclear field, score one (1) additional credit, or

if two (2) or more years of this experience have been in quality assurance, score one (2) additional credits, or

if two (2) or more years of this experience have been in auditing, score three (3) additional credits, or

if two (2) or more years of this experience have been in nuclear quality assurance, score three (3) additional credits, or

If two (2) or more years of this experience have been in the nuclear quality assurance auditing, score four (4) additional credits.

Professional Competence (2 credits maximum)

Certification of competency in engineering, science, or quality assurance specialties issued and approved by State Agency, or National Professional or Technical Society, score two credits.

Rights of Management (2 credits maximum)

The Lead Auditor’s employer may grant up to two (2) credits for other performance factors applicable to auditing which may not be explicitly called out in this standard. Examples of these factors are leadership, sound judgment, maturity, analytical ability, tenacity, past performance, QA training courses.

Communication Skills

The prospective Lead Auditor shall have the capability to communicate effectively, both written and oral. These skills shall be attested to in writing by the Lead Auditor’s employer.

Lead Auditor Training Courses

Lead Auditors shall have completed training to the requirements of

a) Procedures for auditing and corrective action
b) Orientation to the specification being audited
c) Training in fundamentals of auditing including objectives, organization, documentation and
questioning techniques.

Audit Participation

The prospective Lead Auditor shall have participated in a minimum of five quality assurance audits within three years prior to the date of qualification. One of these shall be to the requirements of 10CFR50 Appendix B, or ASME NQA-1 and have been performed within the year prior to qualification.


The prospective lead auditor shall score 70% or higher on an examination provide by either the company or an outside source which shall evaluate comprehension and ability to apply auditing skills. This examination may be written, oral, practical, or any combination of the three. Either the examination or an example of the materials covered shall be retained.

Maintenance of Qualification

Lead Auditors shall maintain their proficiency through one or more of the following:

a) Performing an audit within the past year.
b) Reviewing and studying codes, standards, procedures, instructions, and other documents related to quality assurance programs and program auditing
c) Participating in audit training programs.

Based on management annual assessment, management may extend the qualification, require retraining, or require requalification. These evaluations shall be documented on the Lead Auditor Qualification and Certification form.


Lead Auditors failing to maintain proficiency for two years shall require requalification. Requalification shall include

a) Training in auditing techniques and specifications
b) Reexamination according to this procedure
c) Participation as an auditor in at least one quality assurance audit to a nuclear related