In the Quality Auditing qualification you’ll learn about the auditing principles behind Quality Auditing.
So, how do we know whether the audit has been completed effectively?
Simply by adhering to the Auditing Principles contained within ‘AS/NZS ISO 19011:2003 Guidelines for quality and/or environmental management systems auditing’, which are as follows:
- Ethical Conduct: the foundation of professionalism
Trust, integrity, confidentiality and discretion are essential to auditing.
- Fair presentation: the obligation to report truthfully and accurately
Audit findings, audit conclusions and audit reports reflect truthfully and accurately the audit activities. Significant obstacles encountered during the audit and unresolved diverging opinions between the audit team and the auditee are reported.
- Due professional care: the application of diligence and judgement in auditing
Auditors exercise care in accordance with the importance of the task they perform and the confidence placed in them by audit clients and other interested parties. Having the necessary competence is an important factor.
- Independence: the basis for the impartiality of the audit and objectivity of the audit conclusions
Auditors are independent of the activity being audited and are free from bias and conflict of interest. Auditors maintain an objective state of mind throughout the audit process to ensure that the audit findings and conclusions will be based only on the audit evidence.
- Evidence-based approach: the rational method for reaching reliable and reproducible audit conclusions in a systematic audit process
Audit evidence is verifiable. It is based on samples of the information available, since an audit is conducted during a finite period of time and with finite resources. The appropriate use of sampling is closely related to the confidence that can be placed in the audit conclusions.
Another consideration for the effectiveness of an audit is to ensure that all steps of an audit are carried out.
The steps can be simply illustrated by applying the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle of continuous improvement and as such is a useful tool when conducting audits to ensure that all steps have been carried out.
Plan: Preparing the audit
- Confirm and document audit plan, scope with audit team and auditee
- Reviewing the documentation being audited
- Preparing a checklist
- Check any previous audit results
Do: Perform the audit
- Entry Meeting
- Sampling documents and records
- Asking questions
- Following processes
Check: Analyse your findings
- Check evidence
- Identify Non-conformances
Act: Report on findings and act on results
- Exit Meeting
- Report your findings and raise corrective actions
- Notify auditee of subsequent audit requirements
Inputs and Outputs
Another consideration that is important to observe during an audit is the following:
‘To ensure that an audit is utilized as a valuable tool, one must always be certain of 2 things:
- The Inputs of the audit have been prepared and reviewed
- The audit results are communicated via a useful, tangible output’
In other words; aside from the Interview or inspection stage of the audit, all audits must consist of Inputs and Outputs if they are to be an effective value-adding tool.
To further define Inputs and Outputs as related to the auditing process:
Inputs: The documents required during the Planning stage of the audit.
Outputs: The report and/or corrective actions.
Preparing the audit
Procedures and Policies
Documented Audit Plan
Previous audit reports / corrective actions
Performing the audit
Report on findings
Documented Objective evidence or recommendations
Corrective Action reports
Updated subsequent Audit Plan or notification
Learn More: Quality FAQs
Published by: LMIT