How to Select Members for an Audit Team

Article

Dronkers, John J.   (1990, ASQC)   Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA

Annual Quality Congress, San Francisco, CA    Vol. 44    No. 0
QICID: 9520    May 1990    pp. 620-627
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Article Abstract

An important part of implementing a total quality program is the audit function. Audits serve to provide managers with a formal method to obtain information on the success of quality program implementation and whether or not the program, as conceived and planned, does what it was intended to do. Audits may result in reports containing quantitative measurements on the health of a total quality program, or they may provide qualitative judgments on the appropriateness of the program in relation to corporate goals. Audits may be used as one source of information necessary to decide whether to terminate or continue a course of action. Audits thus are an essential element in the total quality strategy.

The importance of audits necessitates they be done correctly and professionally. They ought to be conducted with an exacting protocol and ought to meet the professional standards set forth by professional societies such as the ASQC. A key factor in assuring the professional conduct of any audit, and hence facilitate the acceptance of its results, is the careful selection of the appropriate people to do an audit. This paper will consider a method, appropriate for any audit, to assemble an audit team.

Aspects to be considered when assembling an audit team are:

  • the audit scope, that is, amount of work required to do the audit;
  • the purpose of the audit: this determines the type of audit and may determine level of detail necessary;
  • the organizational area to be audited: this will help decide what skill or expertise will be necessary to conduct the audit;
  • and the availability of potential audit team members, which is largely a function of the audit schedule.
The essay will illustrate and explain in detail each aspect of assembling an audit team through the use of a specific case. In establishing the specific case comparisons with and references to other types of audits will be made. The case study will essentially be a "Quality Program Assessment," a term used by ETI Course 6705, Quality Audit - Development and Administration, to describe a special type of audit requiring highly skilled and thoroughly experienced auditors. It is also a type of audit where quantitative measurements and qualitative judgments are both required and as such a quality program assessment makes for a good case study. The conditions necessary to select audit team members will be provided and explained: the type of audit, its purpose, the scope, and the areas to be audited.

Applying the aspects to be considered for audit team member selection to the proposed case study provides an opportunity to explain the selection process, both through direct application to the case study and by drawing comparisons to other types of audits. The application will be described in a step-by-step manner and will include both pro- and con- considerations.

Keywords

Case study,Quality audit


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