The Quality audit, It is defined as any documented, systematic and independent process that serves to obtain evidence from an audit and thus evaluate it objectively in order to determine the extent to which the audit criteria are met.
For this reason, in this article we dedicate ourselves to explain in depth: what is the quality audit, why it is carried out, the different types of quality audit that exist, its objectives, and we culminate with the benefits.
What is the Quality Audit?
Well, as we mentioned at the beginning, the quality audit is, in short, an evaluation or examination of certain aspects, such as: the process carried out to produce services or products and the support system for the product that is intended to be produced.
Likewise, we can clarify that this system is also used to determine if the activities that are being carried out comply with the law that governs them, such as: corporate laws, directive, state and federal regulations, among others.
The distinction between this type of audit and the financial one is based on its main objective, which, in the financial audit, is to verify the accuracy and integrity of the accounting methods used in the organization.
On the other hand, it is up to us to highlight one aspect. And it is that, despite this distinction, it is essential to indicate that a large part of the current quality audit techniques they have their traditional roots in financial audits.
What is it done for?
In another vein, we give rise to the end of this audit. Therefore, the purpose of it is to evaluate one or more products, the support system for the product that is going to be produced and the process that is used to produce them.
Likewise, a quality audit is used to determine if the activities are being carried out in accordance with the law that governs them. As, for example: directive laws, corporate laws, federal regulations, state regulations, among others.
In addition, quality authorship carried out through proper implementation, planning and review of the same, provide great and true value to the set of quality management processes of a company or organization.
Types of Quality Audits
Now, once the explanation of the purpose of conducting a quality audit is completed, we continue with the types. Likewise, it is convenient to mention that there is a specific type of classification that is usually quite common, and these are:
- Internal audit.
- External audit.
A. of Internal Quality
This type of audit is carried out only by members of the organization itself or by third parties acting on its behalf, for internal purposes. In addition, provides important information for the management of the company.
On the other hand, we must emphasize that the internal audit is carried out in accordance with the methods or procedures of a company. Either by an external entity or by duly qualified personnel, the ISO 9001 standard establishes that:
- Its main objective is to corroborate that the company’s quality management system is aligned and complies with:
- The planned layout.
- The requirements of the standard.
- The system requirements established by the organization.
- On the other hand, it is appropriate to clarify that, through these audits, it must be verified whether the system has been effectively implemented and whether it is effectively maintained.
- In addition to this, internal audits are carried out in a systematic, continuous, scheduled and planned manner.
- Finally, it is important that these types of audits are carried out by properly trained internal auditors.
- It provides confidence and security in the real and potential clients of the organization.
- It serves to facilitate registration in a register of the company’s quality system with reference to an international standard.
- It is essential to verify that the quality system is in place and that it meets the specified requirements.
- Also, it allows detecting and correcting errors in order to improve them and adapt them to the quality system.
- Also, these audits are a great opportunity for the company to move towards continuous improvement.
- Another advantage is to evaluate the need to include changes or improvements in the circuits.
External Quality Audit
On the other hand, the external quality audit is carried out solely by a authorized, external and independent organization. In addition to this, it is intended to obtain a quality management system certification.
However, it is essential to highlight a relevant aspect. And, as this type of audit happens in certain public tenders, having a certain certification can be a main requirement to be able to perform a specific service.
A. of the Quality Management System
- This type of audit is aimed at: what, how, when, where and who.
- For instance:
- How is the quality system defined?
- Who is responsible for the production of the article?
- Who is responsible for ensuring that the quality of the product meets or exceeds the minimum requirements?
- What procedures are used to guide the organization in its production effort?
- How are the procedures maintained and updated?
- Who performs that role?
Finally, we must emphasize that, at present, this audit is characterized by its emphasis on the macro nature of the quality management system. What’s more, is broad and general in nature, rather than being a narrow audit limited in scope.
A. of Processes
- Well, when the quality system audit is general in nature, the process audit can be defined more narrowly.
- Also, this type of audit revolves around verification, so that people, material and machines come together to produce a product.
- This audit is analytical and evaluative in nature.
A. Product Quality
- This type of audit is an attribute and variable data test.
- In short, this means: cosmetic appearance, electrical continuity, dimensional properties, among others.
- The results of these audits provide important information on the effectiveness and reliability of the overall quality system.
- Likewise, they are carried out for the following reasons:
- To determine if the outgoing product meets a predetermined standard level.
- Also, to measure the capacity of the quality control area when making decisions.
- Estimate the output quality level of the products or the product.
- Determine the adequacy of the internal controls of the processes.
- Estimate the quality level originally submitted for inspection.
A. of Compliance
- During this audit, the auditor should examine written procedures, contractual obligations, among others.
- Likewise, it is up to you to try to make them coincide with the measures adopted by the entity to manufacture the product.
Objectives of the Quality Audit
- In the first instance, one of its main objectives is to locate or find deficiencies in the processes.
- Also, it is in charge of indicating the problems that are considered as potentially serious and that can lead to a loss of customers.
- It includes initiating preventive and corrective actions and at the same time remediating the respective issues.
- Compare documented quality management methods or procedures with real-world practices.
- And finally, we have to recommend ways to optimize a company’s quality management and compliance practices to minimize the cost of quality.
Benefits of Internal Quality Audit
To end this article, and after making known the importance and purpose of this type of audit, it is important to emphasize and dedicate a space to the development of the various, numerous and main benefits of internal quality auditing.
- One of the most important benefits is to authorize the main managers of the organization to make decisions based on the quality management situation.
- Likewise, they allow to obtain a comparison of the methods and procedures of the quality management that the organization has documented.
- Also, it identifies the failures that exist in the various quality management processes of the organization.
- The fact of achieving an improvement in terms of internal communication of the organization is included.
- Discover potential opportunities for waste disposal, which is especially important in manufacturing efficiency.
- It detects situations that can be serious for the organization, giving rise to possible sanctions in case of non-compliance.
- Identify deficiencies in the way in which the different processes of the organization are defined.
- It controls that the application of said corrective and preventive actions have been carried out effectively and in the appropriate time.
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