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Internal Audits and "P.D.C.A"

Discussion in 'ISO 19011 - Auditing Management Systems Guidelines' started by Andy Nichols, Nov 16, 2020.

  1. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a question about Internal Audits and applying "P.D.C.A" to them. I understand "Plan", "Do", but what about "Check" (or Study if you prefer). What is checked? Against what? By whom? And why? Anyone shed some light on this?
     
  2. pkfraser

    pkfraser Active Member

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    Andy

    ISO is obsessed with "PDCA", in the same way as it is obsessed with "processes" (ever since it discovered them in 2000). I wouldn't about it (as I am sure you don't!).
     
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  3. NISHITH NEEMA

    NISHITH NEEMA Member

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    I have a question about Internal Audits and applying "P.D.C.A" to them. I understand "Plan", "Do", but what about "Check" (or Study if you prefer). What is checked? Against what? By whom? And why? Anyone shed some light on this?
    Me. Andy,
    Where the organization has no specific documented information for a particular activity, and this is not required by the standard, it is acceptable for this activity to be conducted using as a basis the relevant clause of ISO 9001:2015. In these situations, both internal and external audits may use the text of ISO 9001:2015 for conformity assessment purpose.
    With respect to PDCA. Since QMS is composed of interrelated processes. Understanding how results are produced by this system, including all its processes, resources, controls and interactions, allows the organization to optimize its performance.
    Under such inter related procedure and for achievment of results you need PDCA cycle. Plan-Road Map to the ultimate result, Do-Action on path of travel, Check-To confirm that you are on the correct road and ACT- To correct for any deviation
     
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  4. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm asking about applying P.D.C.A to the actual internal audit, Nishith. How to apply "check" in particular. Check what? Checking against what? Who does the checking?
     
  5. yodon

    yodon Well-Known Member

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    Just tossing this out...

    The 'check' part is to assess effectiveness so how do you know if your internal audits are effective? Are external audits (ISO or customer) finding issues that the internal audit should have found? I expect it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to measure the business benefits of an internal audit.

    I got nothing else. :)
     
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  6. NISHITH NEEMA

    NISHITH NEEMA Member

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    I'm asking about applying P.D.C.A to the actual internal audit, Nishith. How to apply "check" in particular. Check what? Checking against what? Who does the checking?
    Dear Mr. Andy,
    The following guidline from ISO will answer your question
    upload_2020-11-17_18-57-32.png
     
  7. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually, Nishith, it doesn't. It's a checklist to DO an audit, considering PDCA. I'm thinking about what PDCA looks like when considering the internal audit process...
     
  8. pkfraser

    pkfraser Active Member

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    Andy
    As I guess you guessed, that should have read: "I wouldn't worry about it...".
     
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  9. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    No worries, mate! I like to reflect on what appear to me to be some conventional wisdoms which, when put into the spotlight, don't quite hold up... Over on LinkedIn (as you will probably know) we're having some interesting discussions. The majority know how to apply PDCA to the QMS but NOT to the audit. I'm with you, Peter, I don't believe everything's a process as it appears a lot of gentlefolk do...
     
  10. bkirch

    bkirch Active Member

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    So we all have our opinions. My opinion, is that thinking how PDCA fits into ISO in general can be confusing. It can also be confusing to think about how PDCA fits into individual processes.

    Speaking about Internal Auditing specifically, I can say honestly that I haven't given it much thought on how PDCA fits, but I would say that: Plan - Is planing for an audit; Do - Is doing the audit; Check - Is a self evaluation on how you feel the audit went(i.e. How did the audit go vs your plan?); and Act - What changes could be made to help make improvements in the next audit.

    So basically, I am saying that the Check step would be personal review of myself in performing internal audits, and then trying to make improvements with the goal of making the process a value added for the company as possible.
     
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  11. Eric Twiname

    Eric Twiname Well-Known Member

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    "Check" (for what it's worth) is the internal audit of the internal audit system...and auditing the audit of the audit.
    Quite a stretch...but I've always found the "check" as a separate function to be quite a stretch anyway.
    One performs "check" while performing "do", one loses fingers otherwise when operating power tools.
    ...checking again later is trying to turn a normal human behavior into a business system. Hasn't worked yet...
     
  12. Hitokiri Aoshi

    Hitokiri Aoshi Member

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    PDCA is pretty simple. even on an audit.. it's a process.

    Auditing of an organization is the process,

    the input is the plan, person, the processes/functions being audited.

    the process is the auditing and review the process, function, according to the plan.

    the output is the audit report and corrective actions/opportunities.


    to look at this now from PDCA

    PLAN (the planning of audit, required checklist, training, person, etc)
    DO (conducting of the audit)
    CHECK (review of the audit and its result to see if it effectively audited the system, this includes seeing if all expected areas are being reviewed or maybe even a lack of finding can be a signal that audit is not good)
    ACT (modify the PLAN for next time)

    .... i don't know, i thought it's quite simple and straightforward..
     
  13. RoxaneB

    RoxaneB Moderator Staff Member

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    It sounds like there are multiple levels of PDCA as it relates to internal audits.

    High level | Audits have the strongest touch to 'C' within the QMS's PDCA cycle, with outputs that can lead into 'A.'

    Mid level | PLAN - the audit schedule, resources, etc. DO - conduct the audits. CHECK - audits done, effectiveness. ACT - use results of audits to help feed into the next Planning cycle.

    Micro level | PLAN - the individual audit. DO - the individual audit. CHECK - everything done for the internal audit (forms, reports, etc.). ACT - any follow-ups needed to the audit?

    Possibly a simplistic view, but it's important to recognize that PDCA is not just a cycle on one level and that the PDCA cycle from one level can be the input/output to the PDCA cycle on another level.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
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