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Reflecting the Process Based Approach During Internal Audits

on . Posted in Standards Training

Process-Management-ConceptUse the process approach during audits.

When the ISO 9001:2000 standard was released emphasis was placed on using the process approach during the audit. The purpose was to incorporate audit focus towards analyzing process effectiveness, including interface activities with other processes, rather than focus on element and clause compliance alone.

Unlike third party auditors, many companies did not pursue formal ISO 9001:2008 training and did not utilize the intent and understood process based approach auditing.  This creates a disconnect between the third party auditor and the organization as some companies still do not fully use their process inputs and outputs, sequences, interfaces and, process monitoring/measuring.

Organizations still tend to struggle with the  process approach concept are highly encouraged to pursue formal training or consulting assistance.  We recommend taking the ISO 9001:2008 Review Part A and Part B.

The bottom line is that internal auditing is a cornerstone of the QMS.  It is a vital task and tool to be used to identify and improve the effectiveness of the Quality Management System. With the adoption of the process based approach to auditing and process layered audits, the effectivness of the audit is improved. Management reviews simply cannot be effective without effective internal auditing and reporting.

If an internal auditor is disciplined and is supported by senior management the probability of success is greatly improved.  If the internal audit is carried out as scheduled and coupled with effective corrective and preventive action in a timely manner, then the benefits will be realized.  

The end result is continual product improvement and enhanced customer satisfaction.