Preparing For The Quality Process Audit (E)
Why is the industry standard audit so important? How to prepare for the quality process audit in the best way?
Posted: May 2010
One of the important aspects of maintenance of business processes is compliance with different standards. The industry standards can be external ( ANSI, ISO, HACCP, ... ) or internal company standards. The purpose of the industry standards is to ensure the optimal, the most effective, the most cost efficient, logical and executable layout of business process.
Preparation for audit certification process is the complex business activity. It sometimes requires deep restructuring and process adjustments. But what if all preparation fails because poor preparation for audit certification? Indeed, you may have the best preparation, background work, procedure revision, etc, but you can fail because you or your organization shown gaps during the certification audit.
In order to prevent the failure at the last mile, there is the need for a proper audit preparation.
Technical background is the base of course. If you or some of your subordinates is not technically component, for different reasons ( new in position, etc ), this should be signaled to the controller of the audit preparation team. The audit process requires engagement of employees who have at least minimum maturity and experience within the certain business area.
Preparation for the audit is another important aspect which covers broad area of activities. The clear understanding all industry standards requirements is required. The audit questionnaires, that you should be given, in order to prepare, are often written in very technical and sophisticated manner. Deep and clear understanding is very necessary. In case of confusion or misunderstanding of certification criteria, you should request the clarification.
Process revision and re-arrangement is the next steps. Some processes require small adjustments, while some other requires deep restructuring and investment. All changes should be well documented, for future reference, as well for the audit itself.
Confidence is another very important aspect during the certification audit. If you arranged all processes and reports according the certification audit, you still may fail if you are not confident when answering to the auditors. In case that some part of your answers or documents shown is not confident enough, you may fail the certification process. It is important to be confident, even if you are not 100% sure in some fact.
The least thing that you should do in the middle of certification is to ask for clarification, since the auditor may replay with „I am not the Consultant, I am the Auditor“. During the audit you should answer the questions, not ask them.
If you prepare well, by the book, you will pass the certification. The crucial material for preparation is the audit questionnaire. If you prepare according these questions, if you prepare reports and your presentation, you will pass.
Finally, you need to keep the changes initiated, for the future, since re-certification may come even the next year.