The purpose of an audit is to evaluate whether processes, requirements and guidelines meet the required standards (GCP – Good Clinical Practice / GDP – Good Distribution Practice / GMP – Good Manufacturing Practice). Such a procedure is often carried out within the framework of quality management. The audits are conducted by specially trained auditors.

Within quality management, two types of audits are distinguished: in the field of static quality management audits equal an examination, as they provide evidence of agreements according to contract. They are therefore only carried out once for each review cycle.

In dynamic quality assurance (or quality management) audits have an extended meaning: they are used for identifying development trends and for giving initiators of changes important feedback on the effectiveness of their measures.