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WHat are the hallmarks of an effective, management supported Internal Audit program?

Discussion in 'ISO 19011 - Auditing Management Systems Guidelines' started by Richard Billings, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. Richard Billings

    Richard Billings Active Member

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    Our QMS has excelled because Top Management (VP of Operations) has completely accepted it, promotes quality, and even gets involved in process and product auditing. He wants everyone to identify perceived process errors, there is no fear whatsoever that Management will punish you for making or reporting mistakes. Every manager has $500.00 in their budget that must be given to employees working for them (5 increments of $100.00 for outstanding performance). We have quality luncheons for departments that achieve zero defects as reported by QC each month, and other promotions all with quality as the driver.

    The "key" to success rests with Top Management - walk the talk.
     
  2. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    I have to admit that in 30 years of being around ISO 9001 and similar implementations, training etc. I have yet to see more than one or two really effective internal audit programs - by which I mean, if it wasn't for maintaining a Certificate, management would continue to have them performed.

    I read in all kinds of forums that people say their internal audit programs are great, so I'd like to know what makes them great, as I'm sure many would like to leverage that, too. Post away...
     
  3. Richard Billings

    Richard Billings Active Member

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    If Top Management 'buy-in' and promote quality by telling the staff, all staff from the janitor up, the importance of correcting problems through the Internal Audit process it will happen. People must understand that the Internal Audit is not there to get people in trouble but is there to fix process problems. When this understanding is accepted people will 'help' the auditor by identifying issues they are aware of instead of hiding them. Believe me it works.
     
  4. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Problems should be reported through other processes, not (once a year) through audits. Audits are there to confirm that the processes which cause problems are reported through the process for reporting the problems. If those processes are not being compiled with, then the audit will reveal that to management for actions.
     
  5. Richard Billings

    Richard Billings Active Member

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    We have a team of trained auditor's working out of the QC department. On average 2 to 3 process audits are conducted each month. There are are also numerous customer audits annually. We are always 'audit ready'. In addition our QC audit are critical suppliers.
     
  6. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    So as the owner/Top Manager of a small manufacturing company we approached our QMS totally different. When I took over, I fired the Quality Manager. I took the lead in regards to the QMS and implementation of QS/TS/ISO standards. Thus, it was hard to challenge "top management" buy in. :) So as regards internal audit -- I find it redundant to our everyday operations. In other words, we are small enough that the issues will present themselves directly to top management during the ordinary workday. There really isn't any "hiding" anything. When things don't work as planned, it's obvious. When things aren't documented, it's obvious. So for us, internal audit is to "maintain a certificate." Granted, it won't scale as we get bigger and I'll have to let go and get a more robust internal audit program.
     
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  7. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    I thought you'd stated in another post that you do internal audits (and management review) once a year? I'm now very confused. Do only Quality folks do the audits? If so, why? Customer audits can be hit or miss and have little to do with an effective internal audit. I often wonder why customers audit so often - when there should be no reason, but that's not the topic here.
     
  8. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    Don't want to rain on your parade, but can you reconcile with this? Post #23 of this thread.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019
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  9. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    If there's top management buy-in, do process owners need to course the issues they are already aware of through the internal audit process to resolve them? The issues can be reported by the process owners themselves to the top management through operational meetings.
     
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  10. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    "Telling" isn't buy-in. Sorry to point that out. Unless your VP participates, it's lip service, trust me. The fact that Quality do the audits isn't a hallmark of an effective audit system, either, experience shows. That makes it a policing activity and engenders the responses you're describe. Indeed, if auditors capitulate and turn a non-conformity into an OFI, that's another symptom of a lack of really buy-in, since they aren't confident that they are conducting the audit with the authority of the VP. Unless your whole management team understand and support audits - not argue with findings - then you have a loooong way to go to be as good as you suggest things are.
     
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  11. Richard Billings

    Richard Billings Active Member

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    I did state that we do audits and MR once per year. What I left out is that we complete a full audit cycle of all processes once per year. Theses audits are done by a dedicated team of persons who have received formal internal audit training off-site and they report to the QC Supervisor (Manager). Customer audits are conducted at random normally with one week advance notice. Our formal ISO management review is done once per year usually in Dec or Jan and it is attended to by Top Management ((VP of Ops). There are numerous mini-MRs held throughout the year but these don't qualify as an ISO MR because the VP isn't in attendance.

    I consider customer audits to be nothing more Than 'self-preservation' for their procurementnquality people. They tell you you must have an ISO registration and they still audit us.
     
  12. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    These mini-MRs, I presume, already exist before you have the "formal" management review. They can, actually, qualify as part of reviewing the QMS (a.k.a. management review). ISO/TS 9002 has this statement:
    "Some management review activities may be carried out by various levels of the organization, provided the results are made available to top management. It is not required that all the inputs to management review be addressed at one time, but instead they may be addressed during sequenced management reviews"
     

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