Duhan, Stanley (1988, ASQC) Knox-Tech, Knoxville, TN
This paper describes the many elements of an audit system that are necessary for the system to be successful. The system consists of personnel selection, training, scheduling, preparing, investigating, reporting and follow-up.
Personnel must be carefully selected and trained. They must be technically qualified as well as being able to interact with people at all levels. The personnel selected must be inquisitive, be able to ask questions and know how to listen. They have to know how to conduct an investigation and not be afraid to report their findings.
Each audit must be carefully planned and scheduled. Before meeting with the personnel from the organization to be audited, prior audits, nonconformance reports, and suspected problem areas must be reviewed and checklists developed. The audit should be scheduled when the appropriate auditee personnel are available. This all has to be accomplished before the audit begins.
During the audit the questions on the checklist should be asked without expecting a preconceived response. The auditor can expect no help from the auditee. The auditee is only required to answer the questions truthfully and not offer any further information.
Many notes should be taken during the audit and used at its conclusion to write a report that will accurately describe what was found and accomplished during the audit investigation. The report should provide management with an independent evaluation of the items that were reviewed and recommendations for improvement.
These reports containing findings and recommendations must receive careful consideration from management. If they do not, the audit program will not be successful.
After the audit is completed and the report issued, records describing the total process must be kept and unsatisfactory trends identified.
This paper describes, in detail the elements that are required for an audit system and how they interface.