Audit of medical practice

An audit of medical practice is a systematic, critical analysis of the quality of a doctor’s own practice, the results of which are used to improve clinical care and/or health outcomes, or to confirm that current management is consistent with the current available evidence or accepted consensus guidelines.


A doctor's active involvement in recertification helps to ensure ongoing competence. Research tells us that, audit activity is strongly associated with a positive effect.

Not all doctors are in clinical practice. The term ‘audit of medical practice’ covers both clinical and non-clinical practice.


When setting up an audit of medical practice, consider whether:

  1. The topic for the audit relates to an area of your practice that may be improved.
  2. There are sufficient resources to undertake the process without compromising health service delivery.
  3. Current performance is measured against an identified or generated standard.

Make sure:

  1. You have a documented plan for your audit which includes your intended outcomes.
  2. Where appropriate an action plan is developed. The plan should outline how the actions will be implemented and a process for monitoring.
  3. You plan subsequent audit cycles where required, so that the audit is part of a process of continuous quality improvement.

Audit examples

An audit of medical practice may take many forms. The specifics will often be determined by the nature of the doctor’s employment.

Some examples are:

  • Audits of clinical procedures.
  • Comparing the processes, or outcomes of health delivery or patient care with recognised benchmarks or standards.
  • Patient satisfaction surveys. Doctors who do not see patients usually produce outputs for someone, their customers, and satisfaction surveys of customers rather than patients can also be used.
  • Audits of patient records, policy, board or research papers.
  • Annual performance agreements or personal development plans.