Internal Quality Audit: Complete guide on procedure of internal audit

Hi Quality Engineer, You have heard in your organization about the internal quality audit notification. That management is planning the internal audit and you need to face the audit. But before that, you must know about what is internal quality audit is and what is the procedure for the same.

In many organizations, internal audit is considered a non-value activity and they are not doing it properly. But internal quality audit helps in business processes and product quality, which are highly challenging and customer focus to drive the business.

By following this complete guide you will learn detail concept, terms and procedure of internal quality audit. If you finished this complete guide you are one step ahead of your Quality Engineer Roadmap.

So let’s dive into internal quality audit basics

What is Internal Quality Audit (IQA)?

The internal quality audit is the process for verification and ensures the performance of the organizational Quality Management System. It can help to monitor and check that organization is meeting conformance and standards.

Internal quality audit

It is the documented activity, where verification and evaluation of objective evidence are done. The final ultimate goal of this audit is to collect information about the effectiveness of our quality management system (QMS).

So, there are some guidelines of internal audit such as Who is perform? How does it perform? etc. for this let’s see the complete procedure of internal audit.

What is the Procedure for Internal Quality Audit?

The IQA procedure is the guideline for the audit to ensure planning and performing the audit to make sure our QMS system is effective and meets all Quality management system requirements.

Below steps are must consider in IQA

  • Scope
  • Preparation of Audit
  • Preparation and communication of audit schedule
  • Conducting audit
  • Reporting the audit findings
  • Follow-up audits
  • Audit analysis
Audit steps

Preparation of Audit plan

An audit plan is the documents that include the below details

1. Decide on the frequency of audit. Prepare audit plan with frequency. It should be the documented file that includes all the QMS related processes/department requirements.

2. There should cover all the functions/departments to relevant QMS scope.

3. Additional audit can be planned depending on certain conditions with the discussion of a responsible person. the conditions are

  • If there are many non-conformities in a particular function/process.
  • Change in manufacturing process
  • frequently customer claim for any function/process

4. Mention in the plan that if the audit is not performed as per schedule due to any critical situation, then the audit will be re-schedule within a month or ASAP.

Preparation and communication of audit schedule

Audit schedule
Audit communication

1. Audit schedule includes the auditee’s name, auditor’s name, date, shift, time and audit criteria, scope, which QMS Clause to be audited, etc.

2. It is mandatory, that all working shifts must be audited. It must include in the Audit schedule.

3. There must be a qualified internal auditor in the list. Make sure auditor should not audit their own work. This one is Mention in the standard, which Auditor should refer to.

4. Notify all departments and functions for the audit schedule. It should be our common courtesy to inform about upcoming audits. It will help the Auditee to prepare required documents and pieces of evidences.

Conducting Audit

The auditor conducts audit as per clause requirements of respective function/Scope as scheduled.

Auditor shall use any or combination of auditing techniques like observing, questioning, interviewing the auditee for verification, and recording the objective evidence of conformance or non-conformance in the audit report.

It is very important to ask the right question to the right people at the right time. You must have a good Auditor quality for successfully completing the audit.

Reporting the Audit findings

1. All the non-conformities are reported in the Audit report. During an audit, the auditor may find some deviations, or some requirements are not meet to standards, this should be reported as non-conformity.

Audit findings

2. Auditor shall investigate customer, government management & standard requirements while auditing.

3. Auditor shall also identify the areas of improvement and report them as observation.

A closing meeting should be plan by auditors to summarize all audit findings.

Follow-up audits

Follow-up audits are perform on the non-confirming audit findings. But it depends on the auditor that he just wants to audit only NC points or complete function again.

Preferably, the same auditor shall carry out the follow-up audit of the department after the commitment date or during subsequent audit day and shall record the findings on NC copy.

Audit analysis

Finally, do audit analysis to evaluate the continuing stability and effectiveness of the Quality Management System (QMS).

Do detail analysis of audits and prepare for management review.

Here you have complete one step of the Roadmap for Quality Engineer. The next step is to follow the roadmap so that you will learn the concept in the actual sequence that every Quality engineer should go through.

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