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Role of External Auditors


Role of External QMS Auditors 

There are number of Auditing agencies and firms that are engaged in performing third party audits on various objectives like certification audit, system readiness audit and Gap Audit etc.

Whatever be the name of the audit process, the objective should always be a value addition to the QMS system being audited. While it is great to have auditing in the lines of standards and clauses, it is equally important on the part of the auditors to have some good grasp of the domain / company’s business that they are going to audit.  The classic question of how do the external audits help the companies to meet their business objective has much to do with audit process and understanding of the company’s business by the auditors. It is never easy to get the domain knowledge of all industrial segments ranging from Manufacturing, Health, Power, Energy, Information technology and education for the auditors. That said Auditors can do some good home work from the time the audit schedule is announced till the audit is actually performed with regard to understanding the nature and type business of the company they are going to audit.

During the Lead Auditor training the basics of auditing lesson teaches auditors to talk the language of the auditee in auditee’s terms and vocabularies. This will not only make the auditees happy about the auditing process it will also induce confidence in the eyes of the companies on the audit’s worthiness.

There are major categories of manufacturing and services companies. Manufacturing is very distinct and the QMS manual, procedures and work instructions will be direct and leading to effective audit. However in case of Information Technology companies the QMS may be less direct and it requires a good interpretation on the part of auditor to understand and report the audit findings in a manner useful to the auditee’s way of working.

Though ISO 9001:2000/2008 has applicability across various sectors including services, the auditors can play a change agent that can make the auditee firms to develop confidence. Once the Audits are taken in the right spirit by the auditee firms then they will start implementing QMS process in line with ISO. This might lead to TQM all the way if Continual improvement prcatices are adhered correctly.

This will create an impression that Auditors can also be a change agent and a partner in progress for the companies and not mere reporters of noncompliances.

Happy Auditing!

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