A Formula for Continued Improvement: Audit Follow-Up

Article

Maday Jr., Joseph H.   (1989, ASQC)   Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA

Annual Quality Congress, Toronto, Ontario, Canada    Vol. 43    No. 0
QICID: 3678    May 1989    pp. 907-911
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Article Abstract

In his book, Management Audits, Allan J. Sayle states, "QA standards stipulate that corrective action, required as a result of performing an audit, be followed up and closed out. There would, indeed, be little point in performing audits, requiring corrective action, or having a QA system at all if the auditee knows that the auditor will never verify that the corrective action has been efficaciously implemented."

The QA auditor has an obligation to include follow-up in the overall audit planning. All too often the auditor will go to great lengths to plan and perform an audit only to have a recurring finding in the next audit. The proposed corrective action was only promissory and was not designed to stop the problem from recurring or to identify its root cause. Auditors do a disservice to the overall QA program and particularly to the customer when they fail to follow up and verify that an audit corrective action has been effectively implemented.

In this paper, the techniques used by the quality assurance auditors at the Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) will be presented. Although PNL is a research and development laboratory, the techniques outlined in this paper could be applied to any industry conducting quality assurance audits. Most important, they provide a formula for continued improvement by assuring that audit follow-up is timely, meaningful, and permanent.

Keywords

Research and development (R&D),Quality audit


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