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Published September 22nd, 2020

What is a Quality Assurance Audit?

A Quality Assurance (QA) Audit is an independent and systematic evaluation of QA management systems,processes, and procedures against defined standards and criteria from customers, the company itself, the government, or international agencies.Quality assurance audit is also often sometimes referred to as quality control audit or quality management audit.

This article will discuss:

What are the types of Quality Assurance Audits?

There are three main types of quality assurance audits:

Process Quality Assurance Audit

Examines processes, including the resources used and defined requirements within those processes, like weights, times and measurements. It also examines work instructions, flow charts and worker training.

Product Quality Assurance Audit

Examines products or services to determine if they meet quality requirements.

System Quality Assurance Audit

Examines the quality management system to ensure it meets requirements, such as internal company policies, regulatory requirements or commitments made in a customer contract.

If any of these audits are done by an employee or manager, it’s known as an internal QA audit. Internal QA audits are ongoing, internal evaluations of the internal audit activity, coupled with periodic self-assessments and/or reviews. This will establish a benchmark of the internal audit activity that can be used to establish metrics. Over time, these metrics will indicate improvement in areas of partial conformance or nonconformance with the Standards and successful practices.

All internal audit activities, regardless of industry, sector, or size of audit staff must maintain a Quality Assurance Improvement Program (QAIP) that contains both internal and external assessments.An internal audit activity must obtain an external assessment at least every five years by an independent reviewer or review team to maintain conformance with the Standards.

External assessments, which are often performed by an outside agent,consultant or government representative, enhance value, as they enable the internal audit activity to evaluate conformance with the Standards; internal audit and audit committee charters; the organization’s risk and control assessment; the effective use of resources; and the use of successful practices.

What are the benefits of having a Quality Assurance Audit?

Quality assurance audits, which are part of a Quality Assurance and Improvement Program (QAIP), enables companies to achieve the following:

  • Ensures that quality standards set by law are being met and the company can remain open for business — provided it passes the audit
  • Allows the customers to benefit from quality in audits in that they can rest assured that the products or services they buy will meet the quality levels the company promises
  • Helps assure business partners quality in the products or services sourced to them;
  • Improve employee morale across the organization
  • Helps the company reduce returns and complaints through satisfied customers, therefore producing more sales in the long run.

Simplifying QA audit processes with a digital solution

Traditionally many businesses used paper checklists to help with product quality audit assurance checks.While paper checklists allow employees to go through a quality audit assurance checklist, often this data is lost and is hard to track over time. Using quality management software such as iAuditor by SafetyCulture, businesses can convert their existing paper checklists to digital forms, allowing the data to be instantly saved to the cloud. Staff can then also automatically generate reports, and query analytics to identify trends over time.

By performing regular quality checks businesses often see a reduction in cost, and an increase in quality and customer satisfaction. For service-focused businesses, Quality Management Software helps highlights areas that need improvement, and monitor results over time.

  • Convert your existing paper checklists and manual processes to digital.
  • Streamline your quality management system by creating digital checklists and automated workflows.
  • Upload and annotate photos.
  • Enhance your quality assurance audit process by allowing staff to upload photos of products. You can also use the drawing tools to highlight defects or areas of interest.
  • Improve visibility across your organization.
  • No more waiting for reports to be typed up and emailed at the end of the day. As soon as an inspection is completed all the data is synced to the cloud allowing you to access reports in real-time.

Author

John Derick Flores

SafetyCulture Staff Writer

Dirk is a contributing writer for SafetyCulture who has 3+ years of experience being a Safety Officer in an international airline. Over the course of his tenure, he worked on projects involving training management, ramp safety inspections, quality & safety certification audits, and safety promotion programs. Further, he is interested in maximizing the power of technology to help make the world a better place.