Process Approach to Auditing
To align with the changed concept of quality system management inherent in ISO 9000:2008, PJR has positioned itself in the forefront of change. PJR’s new “process approach” to auditing not only dovetails with the new standard, but will provide added business benefits that go beyond certification.
What does this new approach entail? Rather than auditing separate elements or functions as a whole — as self-contained units within a company – the process approach examines each element as part of a larger process. For example, the auditor may develop his audit plan around the design and production of a particular part. He might start his audit trail by examining initial product conceptualization (what are we going to make? and why?), then follow through to feasibility planning (can we produce and make money on this?), to design (how can it be designed to meet customer requirements as well as being practical to produce?), then through purchasing, production, packaging, shipping, storage, and finally, delivery to customers. Satisfying customer requirements then becomes part of a feedback loop that cycles back into product/process modification or refinement.
In the past, when auditing an ISO 9000:1994 element — for example, 4.6-Purchasing &mdash the auditor looked at the purchasing function, examining a broad spectrum of purchasing activities and operations, usually as many as time would allow. Under the new auditing approach, the auditor would instead follow the previously identified process through the purchasing department, examining only those activities that impact on the process being audited.
We believe this new approach to registration audits will prove to be a value-added proposition for our clients. Under the new philosophy, all of our audit plans and audit activities will truly be harnessed to a company’s quality policy. Each audit should give a much truer picture of how well a company’s quality system is actually functioning to improve product, reduce errors, and increase customer satisfaction. And obviously, this will provide benefits at the bottom line.