DEFINITION 1: The on-site verification activity, such as inspection or examination, of a process or quality system, to ensure compliance to requirements. An audit can apply to an entire organization or might be specific to a function, process or production step.
SOURCE: ASQ Quality Glossary, ASQ, USA.
DEFINITION 2: An evidence gathering process. Audit evidence is used to evaluate how well audit criteria are being met. Audits must be objective, impartial, and independent, and the audit process must be both systematic and documented.
SOURCE: ISO 1911 Auditing definitions translated into plain English, Praxiom Research Group Limited.
DEFINITION 3: Verifications of legality, fidelity, efficiency, or feasibility of procedures, operations, transactions, or expenditures, often by an independent person or agency.
SOURCE: ACER (2007). Australian Thesaurus of Education Descriptors, Australia.