Internal Quality Audit
An internal quality audit aims at assessing the quality standards, monitoruing processes, data collection and quality management within an operation or business.
Internal quality audits also provide management a current view of the level of adherence to quality standards if the business is said to conform to any of the iso9000 standards, and the effectiveness its quality amangement systems overall.
The quality audit is usually carried out by either senior management or a specialised quality audit team which are employed by the business but are dedicated to manging the quality systems of the overall business. The composition and size of the team carrying out the audit will depend on the size and complexity of the business and its internal supply chain .
The internal quality audit is usually done between 3-6 months prioir to an official quality audit by an external third party auditor. This provides the management team enough time to identify and correct any unconforming areas.
Internal Quality Audit focus areas
The internal quality audit should review at the very least the following items:
-Raw material receival and inspection
-Operator training and role descriptions
-In process quality testing procedures
-Quality testing equipment and maintenance of such
-Test results documentation
-Management involvement in quality processes
-Operating procedures and one point lesson systems
-Finish goods quality inspectrions and testing
-Inventory management procedures
-Customer complaints management system
-Lead time on resolving quality issues and customer complaints
-Innovation and product development
The items above cover a wide range of areas but are a basic mix of areas and activities within most businesses which should be covered by most quality management systems. The inclusion of the items above and the level of attention given to these during a quality audit will vary because of two things; the size and complexity of the business and the particular standard to which the business is certified to be compliant with or trying to comply with. Some businesses which comply with iso9000 (the most comprehensive standard) may audit a much larger set of activities and areas of the business than the ones stated above.
More lean concepts and terms