Types of Quality Audit

The Quality Audit is a very important value adding tool for an organization to prove the compliance with the requirements and for continuous improvement. The types of quality audit which are faced by the organization are first, second and third party audits.
First Party Audits : – These are done internally.They are a management tool with the emphasis on continuous improvement. The auditor(s) must be independent of the audit area. The audit should be aligned with the Company goals and metrics. These audits are also called as internal audits. The out come in this audit is the management is aware of the status of the organization. These reports may be required to be shared with some of the third parties.Normally these are conducted by the Quality Department or the MR or their representative.

Second Party Audits :- These  are the audits conducted by those who have some vested interest in the outcome of this audits. These may be OEM’s, Suppliers, Customers etc. These are also called as survey or assessment. These may be conducted for having a relationship or even for the compliance. Normally these are conducted by the second party employees. In some cases, these may be outsourced to a third party with mutual agreement with the organization and the party who wants the audit to be conducted.
Third Party Audits :- These audits are conducted by an organizations which has no interest in the final outcome. These may be Independent Certification Bodies, Regulators or a firm hired by the company. The out come of this audit may be certification, license, acceptance or even an award. 
Categories of Audits
The Quality audits can be categorized as follows
System Audits : 
These audits are conducted on a system spread across multiple processes and may include several employees and several departments. For Eg: Calibration System audits
Conformance Audits:
These are conducted against different requirements. For eg: A third party audit for certification of ISO 9001:2008
Compliance Audits: 
These are conducted to verify the compliance of the regulations. For Eg: A government employee auditing a firm.
Process Audits: 
This audit focuses on a set of processes within the organization, to examine the adherence to the procedures or specifications
Product Audit : 
This is more of an inspection activity. The main objective of this audit is to ensure the product is confirming to the requirements.
Department Audit : 
The main focus of this audit is only one department. within the department many processes, procedures and specifications. It also focuses on department training and organization.

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Originally posted 2011-06-05 02:15:00.