February 27, 2014
Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology
Quality Management Systems (QMS) require regular performance assessments to ensure its compliance and continued effectiveness. The most valuable tool in the continued improvement of a QMS is an audit. Audits are a precise way of evaluating an organization’s processes, QMS or their compliance with either ISO or AS certification, and to ensure that they are also in compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements. Becoming a certified auditor shows your dedication and commitment to improving quality throughout the quality industry. Auditors should have certain skill sets in order to ensure that they are conducting their audits professionally. Soft skills are a psychological skill set that allows auditors to conduct meetings and interviews in a manner that is professional (Doolittle, 2013).
In order to keep this as simplistic as possible the steps for conducting an audit will be broken down into three basic steps. Auditors should have full comprehension of the steps that are necessary to conduct audits. Planning an audit is the first step in performing an audit, the planning step consists of; researching the company and its processes, as well as an understanding of how the company’s reports are completed (every company completes forms and reports differently). During the planning process the auditor should also determine which clauses of ISO/AS and or statutory or regulatory requirements they will be auditing.
The second step to an audit is to conduct the audit. When conducting and audit the auditor should remain as professional as possible, a simple way to ensure professionalism is to use their soft skills. Several examples of how to utilize soft skills is to allow the interviewee to continue working while you (the auditor) present your questions. Another example is to learn the lingo or terminology of the field or process being audited, this will allow the person being interviewed to feel comfortable speaking with you and when someone is comfortable speaking with you the will be more open and honest in their responses (IRCA, 2013).
The third step is to present your findings to the company management team. A finding is any nonconformity,