Sunday, April 18, 2010

Series on Internal Auditing

Series on Internal Auditing
I would like to share my auditing experiences in the form of explanations on the NCR’s raised by auditors.
This would help the process owners to make sure that their processes are in compliance with the standards requirements. As internal auditors, these catchwords would help them identify non-conformance areas and write clear, unambiguous, and correct NC reports.
Kindly go thro the same and comment
IA Catchword- series 1
1. A cause for concern
When you observe that the process is not adequately controlled and the trend of the compliance/product quality is deteriorating, it is a cause for concern. You may also find that there is an attitudinal problem and no actions are taken to contain the problem.

2. Acceptance criteria not specified
For any product/process being measured, there shall be a criteria/conditions which specify if the product/process is acceptable for further processing. This is applicable even for visual checking for attributes. The objective of this is to ensure that only processes/products which are acceptable are passed on further. Sometimes, the Inspector ignores/do not attach importance to the tolerances specified, stating that it will not affect the process/product. In such a case, Auditor shall identify as an observation and ensure that the acceptance criteria is reviewed, to reflect the existing conditions

3. Actions towards prevention of recurrence not evidenced
One of the important aspect of ISO 9001 is that actions shall be identified to prevent recurrence of chronic/repetitive problems. Invariably, many of those repetitive/chronic problems are not attended, either because they are minor in nature or solutions which calls for infrastructure improvement or just not analyzed. Auditor shall verify further if those problems have resulted in any customer concern or quality concern. in such a case, it is necessary to identify corrective actions to prevent recurrence.

4. Analysis of customer complaints not done
Continual Improvement is important for any Business growth. Towards this, one needs to collect information on the performance of the products/processes. Customer complaints offer an opportunity towards this. It is necessary, therefore to collect the customer complaints, collate the data with a view to analyze and in such a manner that probable causes are identified. Analysis of this data shall be done periodically, to elicit workable solutions. If the data is too trivial, and does not provide any meaningful causes, then also it is necessary to use the various analytical tools and arrive at a conclusion. Analysis shall be done thro' an investigation process and using various tools. The results of analysis shall be a list of controllable and uncontrollable factors and using a filtering technique, corrective actions shall be identified.

To be continued…………………


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