Allow external audits to run optimally

181205Henry Mühlpfordt CERN Atlas Control Room
Photo: Henry Mühlpfordt – “CERN Atlas Control Room” by Flickr

Given the importance of external audits, see previous articles, it’s primordial to put much more resources in it than you were used to. That permits to increase the score, the awareness and team spirit of your employees.

Usually, all guests are present in the opening meeting and then everybody goes back to take his routine. The quality manager stays with the auditor during the rest of the audit by answering his questions.

The relevant departments are called for the necessary evidence. The auditor and the quality manager move in the company by visiting these departments according to the program. Moreover one must regularly find the department managers. So:

  • Then quality manager does several things at the same time by being auditee and audit coordinator
  • There can be irritation when it takes too long before the documents are shown
  • Each audit the quality manager must look for some department managers
  • An impression of low involvement in the audit is given to the auditor
  • This turning around looks sometimes like hide and seek, that can be seen as a chaotic situation

Seen that the audit is a unique measuring moment, it’s important to organise the reception of the external auditor differently, because there isn’t sufficient attention for the audit.

To improve this situation, it’s necessary to liberate people during the time of the audit, so that the quality manager could respond better to the questions. Form an audit team with a clear role division for the audit conduct.

Within the roles we can think about an extra person with the quality manager. He transmits the questions to the person who coordinates the audit internally.

The coordinator takes care of calling and searching the experts, reports the auditing process in the organization and arranges that the audit runs smoothly. The people in charge of the documentation are there for the documentary research.

A room where the audit takes place is reserved for the duration of the audit. The interview persons go there as well as the documents to be shown. Of course, the factory tour is also done, if that makes part of the audit program.

With this approach, the audits become more effective, more pleasant and your company presents itself more professionally. You disseminate the audit process more widely across the organization. The awareness of your team increases.

To resume, see the advantages of this methods here below:

  • The more employees are involved in the audit process, the better the understanding of the quality process will be
  • Better results
  • More attention for the quality process
  • You give a better impression of your company to the auditor
  • You will be better prepared for unannounced audits

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