Quality Auditing Diploma – How to Prepare for an Audit

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When you complete the Diploma in Quality Auditing you’ll learn how to properly prepare for conducting a quality audit.  This article walks you through the basic steps required to conduct the audit.

So you have prepared to conduct a quality audit and now you’re ready to go.

You need to consider following points before you commence the audit. It is  important that you have your techniques planned prior to commencing your audit to enable fair evaluation between findings and criteria.

In the case of more than one auditor conducting the audit (Audit team), it is important to consult with the team to determine and agree upon the appropriate methods and techniques that will be used.

At the beginning of this unit we touched on the Audit principles. Adherence to these principles is a prerequisite for all auditors to ensure the integrity of the audit process and outcomes.

Using the Audit as a Tool

Let’s further explore a statement made at the beginning of this presentation:

‘An audit is a tool used to check, assess, analyse or verify to determine compliance and or an opportunity for improvement.’

Let’s consider an example of another tool for a moment:

A medical practitioner relies on a number of tools to diagnose a person’s illness; stethoscope, tongue depressors, thermometers and so on. However; almost every time you visit a doctor they will ask you what has been troubling you.  From your explanation they are able to determine which tools they will need to diagnose your illness.

Similarly, during your audit planning and preparation you may have been able to determine which audit approach to take to evaluate the processes you will be auditing.

The wrong approach to conducting an audit:

Some people think that an audit is a process of finding out what’s going wrong or fault-finding. Consider what would happen if you took this approach during an audit.  Humans by nature feel uncomfortable when they’re being tested or observed, even more so if they feel the observation is intended to ‘catch them out.’

Typically when an audit is approached as a fault-finding exercise, the audit outcome can be quite destructive and stressful for all parties.

Auditor Auditee Result
Is not feeling welcomed at the place of audit. Puts up a guard and doesn’t offer information. The audit is not embraced as a useful exercise to highlight opportunities for improvement.
May lose the respect of work colleagues. Impression of the entire audit as a negative tool, with no benefit but to waste time and energy. Auditees go into defense mode for any Corrective Actions raised and as such may dispute the findings.
Can feel quite demoralized as they feel they are the watchdog that’s out to catch everyone out. May feel of little value to the organization if they take the results on board personally. May feel victimized. Conflict would almost always be a result of this approach to audit.
Does not trust the auditee, continually feels as if the auditee is hiding something. Does not trust the auditor.  Feel as though they must hide things. The audit result may not reflect the true state of the processes as items may have been missed or hidden.

When we approach an audit as a tool for improvement or verification of effectiveness we seek to verify that the system has all the required integrity it needs. We look for the necessary evidence, both objective and subjective, that will demonstrated consistent and thorough implementation and effectiveness of the system.

Remember in most internal audit scenarios both the auditor and the auditee work for the same company and are on the ‘same side.’ It would be perfectly ok to remind the auditee of this fact so as to put them at ease.

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

Published by: LMIT

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