The Auditor as a Paladin

by   Wayne C. Olsen

In days of yore, in lands far away, the knight was the protector of the king and defender of the realm. A paladin was a special kind of knight; a knight with powers that enabled him to heal others in defense of the kingdom. Thus as a paladin, not only could he defend the realm, he could also heal ills that could affect the kingdom. As a lead auditor, I am a defender of the realm (organizations I assess) in that I verify that the assessed organization's programs are compliant with requirements, adequate for the intended purpose, and effectively implemented to insure success. I also ensure that the organization's programs are defensible to outside organizations who may have cause to examine (sometimes attack) them. I have the power to heal in that during the course of my audits, I may discover ills (programmatic deficiencies) that when corrected, enhance that organization's programs. Thus I am a lead auditor, a defender and a healer, a paladin!

Note:  Wayne Olsen is a Lead Auditor at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory.  Wayne is one of those true quality professionals who is always thinking of ways to improve quality, safety, and reliability.  You can provide feedback to Wayne by e-mail to     

NRC Information Notice 2011-1 Value-Add The Paladin Audit Subjectivity Devil's in Details Performance-Based EPRI Commercial Grade Dedication NRC 17025 Approvals NUREG-1055

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Last modified: October 31, 2018