Auditing your processes is not only to know the latest status of how your employees are following the prescribed processes, it is also a tool to see what is missing or need to be optimised for operational purposes.
The goal of an audit
Audits are performed to verify if the prescribed processes of the company are implemented and are well deployed by employees. This can be performed on a regular bases by an internal team or by an external organisation. The latter can be used to obtain an certificate. Prescribed processes is one of the key aspects to achieve a constant quality. The constant quality is impacted by different ways of working, different point of view or different interpretation. If the company is facing a high rate of changing of allocated employees or growing fast, then it is essential to prescribe processes and detail these with procedures and instructions.
For whom are you doing the audit?
Is it an official audit or an internal audit? The internal audit can be used to prepare the official audit and find out if there are gaps in the information that needs to be provided.
What is always needed for auditing
1. independent auditor
2. described processes
3. audit plan
4. invited person: the auditee
The audit plan
The audit plan mentiones the process or procedure that will be audited. It makes no sense to perform an audit if there is no described process or procedure available. From the described process or procedure questions will be derived. The plan lists the key questions that needs to be answered by the audit. The auditer also takes into account results and followup actions from previous audits. When the plan is made you need to determine the means that can demonstrate the proof. During the audit the evidence material is collected.
Findings and observations
When the audit has been perfomed a report with the evidence material is made. The key questions are answered and reference is made to the applicable evidence material. Deviation to the described process or procedure is mentioned as a finding, whereas gaps in the description, or room for different interpretation, can be reported as observations. If applicable, follow-up actions are noted.