Quality Auditing Qualification – Auditing Principles and Processes

In the Quality Auditing qualification you’ll learn about the auditing principles behind Quality Auditing.

Auditing Principles

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.

 Audit Processes

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
  • Interviewing
  • 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.

INPUTS

  • Plan

Preparing the audit

Procedures and Policies

Documented Audit Plan

Checklist

Criteria/standard

Previous audit reports / corrective actions

  • Do/Check

Performing the audit

OUTPUTS

  • Act

Report on findings

Audit Report

Documented Objective evidence or recommendations

Corrective Action reports

Updated subsequent Audit Plan or notification

LMIT provides online training and certification courses on the Diploma of Quality Auditing, Diploma in Quality Management.

Learn More: Quality FAQs

Published by: LMIT

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