Observe and Report

When auditors walk into a room, they are in audit mode. What does that mean? Auditors make good observers. They look at the surroundings, the elements, in the room. It is process approach auditing. Auditors are checking to see if things are out of place or anything that could be a process deficiency or an opportunity for the organization to improve. 
In the quality standard, such as ISO9001 or AS9100, there are 10 elements. Operations (Section 8) is where your products and services come together. Operations includes: Operational Planning and Control (Section 8.1); Requirements for Products and Services (Section 8.2); Design and Development of Products and Services (Section 8.3); Control of Externally Provided Processes, Products, and Services (Section 8.4); Production and Service Provision (Section 8.5); Release of Products and Services (Section 8.6); and Control of Nonconforming Outputs (Section 8.7).
…what does this jargon mean?
An Organization’s operations’ terms: Planning the order (Section 8.1); Sales or Order Processing or Order Review or Contract Review (8.2); Design and developing or changes of the organizations products and services (8.3); Purchasing or Procurement (Section 8.4); Manufacturing or Production (Section 8.5); Inspection (Section 8.6); Controlling nonconforming material, product, etc. (Section 8.7).
…better, but what does this mean?
It means that the organization plans out the job based on the customers’ requirements, including any design and development (if you are an organization designing your own products and services); purchasing of materials, subcontractors, outside processing, etc.; manufacturing the job; inspecting the job to ensure planned results were met; and controlling any nonconforming conditions. The organization, through the QMS, is ensuring quality of products and services.
The auditor audits these processes with the supporting quality and leadership elements (Section 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10). Section 7, for example, is Support (your resources), which includes, but not limited to: personnel, infrastructure, work environment, documented information, etc. The auditor will audit to ensure personnel following operation processes, but they must ensure the elements are being followed.
When the auditor walks into manufacturing, the auditor, also, looks at documented information, personnel training records, equipment maintenance, etc. Are the documented information (production work order, traveler, pick list, etc.) per Section 7.5 of the Standard and the organization’s requirements being met in the manufacturing process, for example. 
Look at your surroundings when you are auditing. The best auditors just do not look what is presented in front of them, but he looks at the surroundings and ask open ended questions:
  • Why?
  • When?
  • How?
  • Who?
  • Where?
Find out more from the Qarma Group

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