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Stress free internal audits?


Posted on August 14th, 2012QST


Tips and tricks for stress free internal quality system audits

Tip No: 1

It really comes down to the old Boy Scout motto “BE PREPARED.

Have you added the dates of all your proposed internal and external audits to a calendar / schedule? Having this ready for the auditors gives them confidence that you are maintaining your quality system.

Tip No: 2

Make sure that for each date scheduled you detail the scope of the audit.

  • Which processes are you planning to audit?
  • Are there associated work instructions, forms you would expect to review?
  • Have you identified the process owners or auditees you will need to contact?

Quality Systems Toolbox makes these two tips a breeze… just add an audit “event” to your CALENDAR.

Tip No: 3

Prepare your audit checklist well ahead of time. There are two methods I recommend:

  • Mark-up photocopies of each procedure being audited – add questions, highlight forms / records you would expect to witness
  • If you use a generic Audit Checklist then review it and ensure its continuing validity, add further questions and highlight forms / records you would expect to witness

Tip No: 4

Contact the auditee at least three working days before the scheduled dates and confirm availability / times.

The Quality Systems Toolbox – CALENDAR allows scheduled events to be posted into your MSOutlook calendar so that you can email attendees and set alarms.

Tip No: 5

Before undertaking your audit, check previous audit records for any outstanding audit findings – find out why these action items have not been “closed out”.

Review these “issues” in the Quality Systems Toolbox – ISSUE TRACKER.

Tip No: 6

Put the auditee at ease right from the start of the “opening meeting” – introduce yourself, explain that you are auditing the system not the personnel. Inform the auditee how any areas of non-compliance will be documented and raised in the system. Reinforce the message of continual improvement.

Tip No: 7

Make sure that you record details of all documents and records shown to you during the audit. Record dates, part numbers, order numbers, customer names – this “objective evidence” may need to be checked by your External Auditors. Make sure it is legible.

Tip No: 8

Prepare your Audit Report as soon as possible after completion of the audit. The longer you leave it the more detail gets lost / forgotten.

Post your Audit Report as a pdf document to the *Quality Systems Toolbox – DOCUMENTS module. It will not get lost, eveyone can find it – you can even send emails via Quality Systems Toolbox to advise users of its availability.

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