Tips and Tools for Audit Planning and Execution
The followings are sub processes for a successful Audit program.
The success of the audit process starts with the audit planning. The followings are some of the audit planning activities. This can be used as a good checklist for the planning and execution of the audits.
- Notify the proposed audit and objective of the audit in 2 to 3 months in advance, when possible.
- Coordinate and schedule of the dates for the audit.
- Prepare and notify the audit agenda. The agenda should include 1-2 hr. of plant/facility tour. (please see our template for the audit agenda- to be published)
- Confirmation of nondisclosure agreements, information restrictions, access restrictions. Sometimes the host may have restriction from other customers. Sometimes host may have restriction from Government contracts for defense projects etc.
- Confirmation of support for the audit from the auditee/host side. Confirm the escorts names and availability during the audit.
- For external audits, plan your travel and book the hotels in advance to find a convenient place to stay for the audit.
- Get the copies of the documents and manual in advance if possible, review the documents and prepare questions.
- Review the quality history of the products and services, status of the corrective action (if any), status of previous audit action items (if any)
- Review the current contractual agreements, current specifications for products and services
- Preparation for the audit
- Print the agenda copy,
- Print the attendance template
- Print the additional documents as needed
- Dress professionally and plan to arrive 15-20 min before the scheduled time
- Present your Business card to the hosts
- Opening meeting- Lead auditor to introduce him/her (self) and the audit team. Explain the objective of the audit and scope of the audit. Get the attendance records signed off for the opening meeting.
- Provide opportunity to hosts to introduce themselves and their organizations
- Review the agenda for the audit
- Confirm and reiterate nondisclosure agreements, information restrictions, access restrictions
- Review the documents and records (select appropriate samples of records that should be represent the current process). Take note of best practices and non conformances. Use an audit check list, to make sure you have addressed all the questions.
- Be patient and professional when asking for additional information. Pay attention to personality differences. Some people get nervous during the audits and some people get defensive. Adjust the conversation style to enable better information sharing.
- If there are conflicts or information is not available, move on to the other sections of the agenda. In some cases, call a quick meeting with the host and discuss the progress. It may be advisable to discontinue the audit (in extreme cases). In our experience, we have seen less than 1% of cases where we had conflicts and trouble doing the audits.
- Closing meeting- Get the attendance record signed off. Present the summary of the best practices and list of non conformances. There may be times, host would like to present additional information to contest the non- conformance. Provide them additional information if possible.
- Draft an interim audit report and circulate to the host/audit owner. Get their buy in regarding the non conformances.
- Then publish the final audit report for approval by internal and external parties as needed. The report should include the list of nonconformances.
- Use standardized templates for publishing non-conformance. (please see our template for the audit report and audit non-conformance to be published)