The Wrong Way and Right Way to Conduct a Quality Assurance Audit

During your quality assurance 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 a Quality Assurance 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 a quality audit is approached as a fault-finding exercise, the audit outcome can be quite destructive and stressful for all parties.

The Right Approach to Performing a Quality Assurance Audit

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 quality 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.

Another Consideration When Conducting a Quality Assurance Audit

Another consideration for putting the auditee at ease is to touch on something other than the audit.  Use small talk to break the ice.

Perhaps you can discuss the footy results, the weather or the holiday you recently took.  Just steer clear of gossip or innuendo as this is in conflict with the audit principles of professionalism and integrity.

While an auditor must maintain professionalism, a sense of humor can make the audit more enjoyable. An auditor with a sense of humour is usually welcomed back by any auditee.

Remember, though, to leave the stand up comedy to the stand-up comedians.

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

Published by: LMIT

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