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The importance of internal quality management system audits

Quality AssuranceAll organizations have a duty to ensure that their quality management system is implemented throughout. This is done by means of a Quality Management System Audit. Auditors selected within the organization that is independent of the function or area being audited is responsible for carrying out the audits.

Ways of Conducting Quality System Audits

What is ISO 9001 Quality Management System?
  • Vertical Approach Audit. This is an approach of audit where one department or function is audited against all elements of standards or procedure.
  • Horizontal Approach Audit. This is an approach of audit where all departments or functions are audited against one element of standards or procedure.
Book a consultation with one of our consultants if you need help with Quality Management System Audits.

Structure of a Quality Management System Audit

  • Management Representative. An organization’s top management is responsible for appointing a Management Representative (MR). The MR’s main duty is the day-to-day running of the quality management system. Other duties of the MR include the scheduling and monitoring of internal audits, as well as selecting, training, and managing auditors. He is thus basically the link between the operating quality system and the company management. The MR should also notify the company management of any persistent or recurring problems.
  • Internal Quality Auditors. The Internal Quality Auditors is seen as the “hearers” or “listeners” of an organization. Auditors are selected on the basis of their involvement in the quality management system. This way a certain level of auditor’s interest and ownership of the auditing process are maintained. It is important to note that an auditor should be independent of the function being audited in order to avoid biased judgment
  • Internal Quality Auditors. The Internal Quality Auditors is seen as the “hearers” or “listeners” of an organization. Auditors are selected on the basis of their involvement in the quality management system. This way a certain level of auditor’s interest and ownership of the auditing process are maintained. It is important to note that an auditor should be independent of the function being audited in order to avoid biased judgment

Techniques used during a Quality Management System Audit

It is important for you to use open questions during an audit. These include How? Why Where? When? What? Who? Questions like these keep your auditor talking. Closed-questions should be avoided if possible. Closed questions are inquiries answerable only by either “No” or “Yes”. However, the “Show Me” question is probably the most effective question.
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