What is a quality control audit?

A quality control employee inspects the goods as they are produced.

A quality control audit reviews quality assurance systems to determine if they are effective. This can be done internally for the company’s own reference or by a third-party agency. In some cases, the results are made public, as seen by government agencies that are held accountable to citizens and residents. The result of an audit may include violations of varying severity, or a clean result with no violations found during the investigation.

A quality control audit reviews quality assurance systems to determine if they are effective.

These audits provide an accountability system to ensure that a company or agency meets stated quality goals. For a successful quality control audit, auditors need unlimited access to personnel, records and facilities. Third parties can be especially good auditors as they are neutral with no stake in the outcome of the investigation. People within a company may have an incentive to return favorable results and may ignore issues that other investigators can examine more deeply.

Material collected in a quality control audit can be gathered to write a findings report.

In the course of a quality control audit, auditors may review a variety of materials. They can look at stated policies and procedures and can compare them to actual performance. This can involve looking at employees responsible for quality control, as well as interviewing people to determine how knowledgeable they are about procedures and what they would do in the event of a quality issue. Records can also be reviewed to determine if the company applies policies consistently and logically.

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The material collected during a quality control audit can be grouped into a report. This document can compare and contrast stated objectives, policies and procedures with actual on-site quality control. It can highlight specific issues of concern as well as areas of quality control that are clearly working effectively. Some audits may include case studies of specific incidents to show how the business went wrong or right. The quality control audit may conclude with recommendations to improve or keep systems strong.

Public reports can be reviewed by anyone who requests them. Agencies with poor audit results may be asked to provide information on action plans to resolve the issue, documenting their response to the audit for the benefit of stakeholders. Private internal audits are distributed among authorized personnel only. This may include managers, engineers and others involved in the design and implementation of quality assurance and control procedures. They can use confidential audits to resolve known quality issues as early as possible.

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