Stress free internal audits?
Aug. 14, 2012
Tip No: 1
It really comes down to the old Scout motto “BE PREPARED”.
Have you added the dates of all your proposed internal and external audits to a calendar / schedule?
It's a requirement to "conduct internal audits at planned intervals" so your auditor (internal and external) will expect to see your plan.
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?
In Quality Systems Toolbox you plan your audits using Tasks, or for simple planning set up a recurring Audit schedule.
Tip No: 3
Prepare your audit checklist well ahead of time. There are two methods we recommend:
- Mark-up copies 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 expect to see
Good sources for further questions are the problems and findings from previous audits, or recent Issues (non-conformance) identified that are relevant to the area being audited.
Tip No: 4
Contact the auditee a few days before the scheduled dates and confirm availability / times.
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 – ISSUES module.
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.
Upload your Audit Report to Quality Systems Toolbox.
It will not get lost, everyone can find it, and interested 'followers' will automatically receive a notification that the report is available.
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