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Effective Internal Audits – PowerPoint Presentation
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  1. Effective Internal Audits – Is Outsourcing the Answer?DENIS J. DEVOS, P.EngDenisDevos@sympatico.ca (519) 476-8951 16th Annual Quality Audit Division Conference Atlanta Georgia October 11-12 2007

  2. Past Practice • Outsourcing internal audits was discouraged • Registrars discouraged this “abdication” of management responsibility for QMS • Companies already pay for external audits, they don’t want to pay for internal audits, too • Consultants didn’t always work on honing their auditing skills • Internal audit training was widely available, and a two-day investment could make anyone an auditor

  3. Low Expectations, No Disappointments • “Follow the checklist!” • “Don’t ask about these other areas, they’re not part of our Quality System!” • Tunnel Vision • Findings were the usual type of document control issues, incomplete tags etc. • Audits didn’t propel improvement, but after all, these were only internal audits. • Third-party auditors are not allowed to consult.

  4. ISO 9001:2000The Process Approach • Process Approach auditing is not yet fully matured • Internal audit courses still focus too much on the Standard, instead of critical thinking • Requirements still not examined within the context of RISK • Abstract concepts such as “turtle diagrams” are counter-intuitive for internal auditors • The BIG PICTURE is not often understood by internal auditors

  5. Challenges to Internal Audit • Audit training cannot teach a Big Picture perspective nor impart experience • Auditors are not always released from their “real work” to perform audits • Audit teams experience a high rate of attrition • Findings do not often lead to improved performance

  6. Survey Methodology • 155 survey responses from a distribution by Denis Devos and two colleagues • Approximately 90 surveys completed during ASQ conferences: • London Ontario monthly meeting • Canton Ohio monthly meeting • ASQ Audit Division Conference, Reno 2006 • ASQ Automotive Division Conf. Detroit 2007

  7. Survey Sample • Approximately 75% of surveys from Ontario and Michigan and Ohio • 25% of surveys from throughout the US. • N=155 Automotive: 65 or 42% • Aerospace 8.5% • Medical Devices 5.8% • Pharmaceuticals 4.0% • Consumer Goods 4.0% • Engineered Industrial Products 11.7% • Food/Packaging 3.0% • Healthcare 5.0% • Education 1.3% • Gov’t Services 7.8%

  8. When have you used an external auditor to perform your internal audit? • During implementation of QMS • During upgrade to TS 16949, ISO 9001:2000 etc. • Once or Twice as a “fill in” • On-going basis: internal audits are always outsourced Imp/Upgrade Fill In On-going

  9. Did you have an internal audit team in place when you outsourced your audit(s)? • YES (86% and 76% respectively) • NO 86% YES NO

  10. Why did you use an external resource? • Lack of auditors – none trained • Lack of auditors – they’re too busy, not available • Lack of auditors – they leave the team or company • We intended to audit, but got too far behind • Lack of confidence in our internal resources • A strategic decision: we knew we wanted a professional 1 2 3 4 5 6

  11. How did you select your internal auditor • A consultant who assisted with implementation or upgrade • An auditor from an affiliated company or sister plant • Referred by customer, another company, etc. • Referred by your registrar or their auditor • Other 1 2 3 4 5

  12. Please rate your experience with the quality of the audit services • Excellent 2. Very Good • 3. Good 4. Fair • 5. Poor Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor

  13. Why do you anticipate the need for external resources? • Past employee audits have not given satisfactory results • We’re getting behind, need a “boost” to get back on track • Customer/Registrar expectations getting to high to meet • Auditors not trained 5. Too Busy 6. Auditors leave us • 7. A strategic decision: we want a professional to help us 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

  14. What influenced your decision not to outsource? • We’ve never considered outsourcing • We wouldn’t know where to find a competent auditor • We would consider it a failure if we couldn’t do it ourselves • 4. We don’t consider internal audit important enough for that • 5. Only our own employees know our processes well enough • 6. We don’t trust an “outsider” • 7. Cost 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

  15. If your organization decides to outsource, what is the long-term direction? • Outsourcing forever: a strategic decision • To “fill in the gaps” with our internal audits • To periodically support, coach, mentor our own team • A one-time training or support for our audit team 1 2 3 4

  16. What characteristics are most important in an internal auditor? Industry or Sector Knowledge Audit experience with organizations just like yours Work experience with organizations just like yours Audit experience in a wide variety of organizations Work experience in a wide variety of organizations Track Record, experience, professional references Certification as CQA by the ASQ Certification by RAB, IATF etc. Availability on Short Notice Cost Other 3 2 7 8 9 5 6 10 4 1 ----> tells funny jokes…

  17. What are the top 3 characteristics for an internal auditor? • Industry Knowledge • 2-3 Auditing/Working experience in Similar Companies • 4-5 Auditing/Working experience in a variety of Companies • 6. Track Record and Experience • 7-8 ASQ Certification – RAB/IATF Certification 1 2 3 4 5 6 7-8

  18. What is the least important (lowest priority)? 10. Cost 9. Availability on short notice 8. RAB/IATF Certification 7. ASQ CQA Certification 6. Track Record, experience, professional references 10 9 8 7 6 Other

  19. Cost Influence Once a company decides to outsource audits, how high a priority is it for auditor selection? Top 3 Priority Priority 4-8 Lowest Priority, 9-10

  20. Selected Written Comments • “I see greater demand for more outside auditors… (companies) are frustrated with internal audits and need positive conclusions” • A Registrar Auditor in Ontario • “Auditor volunteering can be like pulling teeth” • Medical Device Mfg. in Ontario • “Need knowledge and experience with process and cultural changes. We don’t need an auditor who’s been doing the same thing for 10 years.” • Engineered Industrial Products, USA

  21. Selected Written Comments “If an audit is outsourced, how can it be “internal”? This concept is foreign to me.” Food Safety Regulator - Canada “(outsourced auditor) has very good understanding of our business and is a good mentor. We have a strategic relationship w/ several business advisors” Electrical Controls Mfg. in Ontario “We brought in a group to prepare us for FDA and CGA inspection” Pharmaceutical Mfg. - USA

  22. Automotive – Ontario and Michigan “We rely on (auditor) because of a lack of internal resources. Objectivity, no political agenda and a value-added approach” “(Registrar) was very impressed with the quality of our internal audits during the last two visits” “The biggest plus is the perception of the company to take it more seriously. Audits are more effective and more cost effective.”

  23. Automotive – Ontario and Michigan “…an eye-opener to the management team. It forced them to deal with some outstanding, long-term issues.” “External Auditors seem to heighten the importance of the audit and the QMS as a whole.” “A good idea. We never have enough people to do our auditing”

  24. Conclusions • Many companies (70%) report that they’ve never considered outsourcing internal audits. This trend will likely diminish as word spreads that this is now an accepted alternative • Less than 30% of respondents felt each of the following: • Outsourcing internal audits is a “failure” of their team • Only full-time employees know their QMS well enough • Which suggests that a majority of companies are open to considering outsourcing as a strategy 1 2

  25. Conclusions Although cost is a moderate influence on whether or not to outsource internal audits, it does not weigh heavily in the decision of which auditor to use. Better experiences with audits result in more likeliness to continue. Automotive: 68% high satisfaction, 72% will use again Non-auto: 40% high satisfaction, 53% will use again 3 4

  26. Conclusions A majority of companies who have outsourced their audits at least once had a positive experience and would do it again. Companies may not outsource their audits forever, but professional auditors can fill in the gaps and provide coaching and mentoring to existing audit teams. 5 6