What Is a Quality Audit?
A quality management audit consists of a two-part process where products, services, business operations, or systems used for production are examined for defects and inconsistencies. The audit aims to identify and optimize any problems that arise during each step of the process to ensure the product meets industry standards and complies with the rules and regulations of the trade before a product is introduced to consumers.
Quality management, whether it has always gone by that name or not, has been traced as far back as the medieval guilds in Europe. It’s human nature to double-check that the product or service they are receiving in exchange for their product or service meets their expectations. After all, no one wants to get swindled! So in all actuality, quality assurance has most likely been going on since humans began using the trade and barter system which would put us somewhere around 6,000 B.C.E, an age that saw the rise of the first human civilization in Mesopotamia. Nowadays, the quality management system has been adapted to fit the supply and demands of a globalized economy.
A quality audit template helps quality managers to implement a solid quality management system (QMS) and to meet the requirements of ISO 9001.In this article, you’ll learn more about the different types of audits used in the field, how to create your own questionnaire to fit the particulars of your company or organization, and discover common problems and solutions that have been known to pop up during audits.
This article briefly discusses the following points:
What Are the 3 Types of Audits in Quality Management?
Audits are regularly used in quality management in almost every industry that comprises our economy. These audits are then divided into three categories, depending on what part of the manufacturing process is being audited. The below section gives a brief overview of what each audit is designed to address:
- First-Party Audit – The Internal Quality Audit, or self-assessment as it is also called, is performed by companies to check the quality of their own processes and products. Internal audits help to identify process gaps and to continuously improve quality management.
- Second-Party Audit – or External Audit, helps companies to check the quality of raw material deliveries received from suppliers. These materials are going to be used to make the final product, so they must be checked prior to the start of manufacturing. For example, it wouldn’t do to construct a deck out of warped pieces of wood—there might be a few holes in your project! That’s why it’s important to double-check that all incoming raw materials are up to par.
- Third-party audit – is carried out by an objective auditing body, usually commissioned by a company to check its own quality. Third-party audits are usually intended for certification of quality management systems such as ISO 9001 or to verify compliance with government regulations.
What Are the 4 Steps to Create a Auestionnaire: First-Party Audit
Quality managers or other persons familiar with the inspection of products or business processes use a template as a tool for internal audits. The questionnaire’s aim is to identify underlying problems and to evaluate the performance of the processes. The regular performance of quality audits helps to increase the efficiency of the company and continuously improve business strategies.
The following is a list of 4 steps that are vital to the creation of a catalogue of questions:
1.1. Define the main points of the audit
1.2. Create a schedule
2. Preparatory phase
2.1. Prepare an audit guide
2.2. Check the quality management documentation
2.3. Assemble an audit team
2.4. Communicate within the team for common goals
3.1. Observe individual processes
3.2. Schedule interviews with selected pool of employees
3.3. Review quality management documentation
3.4. Note and discuss deviations from the desired target state
3.5. Jointly derive first improvement measures
4.1. Prepare a meaningful audit report
4.2. Create a detailed action plan
A Digital Solution for Quality Audits
By using a digital checklist, you can easily conduct internal and external audits via tablet or smartphone – online or offline. With the desktop version, you can generate suitable checklists or digitize your existing paper lists. The tool guides you step by step through your audits and enables you to achieve excellent quality management.
After an audit, all collected data is processed in a clear and concise report. This allows you to see weaknesses and problems at a glance and to efficiently take care of targeted tasks.
Quality managers benefit from the following advantages:
- Increase the efficiency of your internal processes. By communicating more efficiently within the team, third parties, and management, and by reporting incidents more quickly, you can resolve incidents up to 4x faster.
- The flexible checklist builder from Lumiform helps you to convert any individual paper list into a digital checklist in minutes.
- In addition, we offer more than 12,000 ready-made templates to help companies get started digitally in no time.
- All results, images, and comments are automatically bundled in a digital report.
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