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First Party Audit

First party audit: Is, example, iso 9001, objectives, Purpose. The quality management world has many different types of audits – so many that some people get confused between the categories.

First party audit: Is, example, iso 9001, objectives, Purpose
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First party audit: Is, example, iso 9001, objectives, Purpose

When you factor in the fact that audit titles can indicate the same thing, miscommunications can take place and many people stay in the dark. To remove the confusion, let’s explain some terms.

Internal audits are another term for first-party audits. This is when a representative from the firm audits a process or set of processes in the quality management system to check that they comply with the company’s procedures.

This individual can be a company employee or someone employed by the firm to conduct internal audits, such as a consultant, but the crucial factor is that they are acting on behalf of the company rather than a client or certifying authority.

What is a first party audit? 

The first-party audit is carried out by auditors who are employed by the organization being audited, however, they have no vested interest in the results of the audit.

First-party audits are more commonly known as internal audits. A company’s internal audits are performed to ensure that processes and collections of processes meet its internal standards and criteria.

In addition to assessing the performance of a company’s Quality Management System (QMS) and monitoring adherence to it, internal auditing can also be used to track compliance with the QMS. These audits are most commonly carried out by internal auditors. The cost of first-party audits is included in the Cost of Quality.

Iso 9001

In fact, you can have an objective pair of eyes examine your processes most effectively by using the ISO 9001 Internal Audit process. They can help you identify areas that need improvement as well as your complacency, so that your process runs more smoothly, faster, and more efficiently.

Below are listed the five primary steps for conducting an internal audit according to ISO 9001, as well as how they can be used to facilitate improvement efforts among internal process owners.

Planning the audit schedule

An overall Audit Schedule that is readily available to let everyone know when each process will be audited over the next cycle is an important aspect of a strong process (usually a yearly schedule).

If you don’t have a plan and rely on surprise audits, senior management will send the message that “we don’t trust our personnel.” By making the audit intentions public, the message is sent to the process owners that the auditors are there to assist them.

It is possible for process owners to arrange for any improvement initiatives they are implementing to coincide with the audit, giving them the chance to collect useful information on the implementation or to ask the auditors to assist with data collection for other planned changes.

Planning the process audit

Identifying when the individual process audit will take place is the first stage of preparing an individual process audit. Although the above plan serves more as a guideline to suggest how frequently and generally when processes will be audited, through the confirmation, the auditor and process owner can determine how and when to evaluate the process.

An auditor here is able to review previous audits to determine if there are any comments or concerns that need to be addressed, and a process owner here will tell the auditor if there are areas he or she needs assistance in finding information. By developing an audit plan, you will ensure the audit will benefit the process owner.

Conducting the audit

It is important that the process owner and the auditor meet within a few days of a planned audit to ensure that the audit plan is complete and ready for execution.

An auditor can obtain information by reviewing records, interviewing employees, analyzing process data, or even watching the process in operation during an audit.

We hope that we will be able to gather proof that this process is operating properly within the QMS and achieving the desired outcome. An auditor can be of great service to a process owner by pointing out sections of a process that could be improved with some adjustments, as well as identifying regions that do not have any evidence that they are running properly as well.

Reporting on the audit

Meeting with the process owner at the end of the process ensures that information does not get slowed down. Whether there are any areas of concern and whether they should be addressed, as well as whether any areas may be improved, will be of interest to the process owner.

It should be followed up with a written record as soon as possible so that the information can be made more permanent and used for future reference. An internal audit will be more beneficial to the process owner if it identifies not only the areas that are not in compliance, but also the favorable aspects and potential areas for improvement. Enhancement of the process will then be possible.

Follow up on issues or improvement found

In addition to many other areas of the standard, follow-up plays a crucial role. Following the identification of a problem and the implementation of remediation steps, it is important to ensure that the problem is actually resolved.

The fact that audit opportunities have resulted in process improvement is a powerful motivator for future changes when seeing how much the process has improved.

For a successful internal audit, focus on process improvement

When internal audits are focused on helping the company improve processes rather than just maintaining compliance, they can be more valuable.

An ISO9001 Quality Management System includes an emphasis on process improvement, and it should be a primary motivator for any business seeking to establish a quality management system. Process improvement is not only good for improving efficiency, but it is also good for saving time and money.

Audits internal to the QMS can introduce significant process improvement if handled appropriately. Rather than merely a “necessary evil,” they can improve the overall quality of the QMS.

Objectives 

A powerful first-party or internal audit process allows you to compare what is actually taking place in your day-to-day operations with your documented rules, procedures, work instructions, or quality systems.

Having a first-party audit performed can assist you with determining if you’re doing what you promised to do to maintain quality and comply with safety and regulatory standards. Having a first-party audit performed can help you ensure that:

  • Analyze your quality management process for potential weaknesses
  • And identify any underlying problems that can lead to non-compliance
  • Pay attention to ways in which you can eliminate waste in your processes
  • Taking corrective and preventative actions for any non-conformances
  • Ensure consistent application of quality controls and systems

In a well-planned, implemented, and maintained internal auditing process, the internal audits help reduce the cost of quality and add considerable value to the quality management process.

Purpose

The First Party Audits preparation step includes a checklist to ensure that you are well-prepared before the actual audit, but don’t forget that the most critical phase of audit performance is a useful addition to the business in the long run.

Before beginning the audit, a First Party auditor must ensure that the following duties are completed:

Notifying the team

Emailing stakeholders and auditees well in advance and explaining why auditing is important. Auditing procedures you need to implement will be ineffective without letting auditees know beforehand. It will be a waste of time and money for both auditors and auditees.

Moreover, it can become so negative that, rather than being seen as a practice for progress, it might even be considered a fault-finding exercise.

Selection of lead auditor and auditor’s team

Choosing auditors’ teams should be based on the size of the facility that will be audited by them. This is in addition to the number of areas that they will visit during the audit. Team members of the auditors should understand all the fundamental processes in great detail.

Oftentimes, first-party auditors are employees of the company who are also members of the audit team. The practice of external auditing is generally preferred by fewer business owners that hire auditors from outside agencies.

Process documentation review

Additionally, to analyze the process documentation and take preventive and corrective measures, they measure data availability and associated warranties.

Knowledge of the past and present processes is essential. To improve the understanding of an audit report, auditors should get to know other team members and/or process operators.

As you gather information about the documentation process, you will be able to choose the process areas and problems that will present themselves on the way to completion for the team.

Making audit more successful and effective

Prepare yourself adequately by not taking anything for granted. Become familiar with how everything works in order to develop to the fullest extent.

Find out how machine operators perform, under what conditions they perform, and whether they are enthusiastic about adopting the culture of continuous improvement.

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External resources: quality-one

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