Internal Quality Audit : Best Practices
Many service supply organizations are using internal audits as a method to improve operations and impact their bottom line. In addition to being required by API Spec Q2, an effective audit program will highlight potential problems areas, identify failure points, and determine the effectiveness of controls.
Internal auditing provides the mechanism that organizations use to examine business processes and evaluate compliance with both internal and external requirements. Successful auditing incorporates best practices and other tools to provide maximum impact. To that end, we have outlined five useful tips to help advance your next internal quality audit.
1. Strong Attention to Detail
It is important for internal auditors to note and document evidence throughout the auditing process. These notes are used later to analyze events and reconstruct specific situations. This does not mean that auditors should focus on tiny, unimportant details through nit-picking, but rather components that are a part of a bigger issue that can be addressed.
2. Friendly Attitude
Stress levels are already high when employees are dealing with an audit. If an internal auditor is aggressive, hostile, or difficult to deal with, employers often minimally engage and will not share as much. If an internal auditor presents with a friendly attitude and is open, they will be more likely to get feedback. The last thing an auditor wants to do is put an employee on the defensive or make them feel ill at ease.
3. Reporting Supported by ChecklistsInternal auditors use checklists to balance reporting and should ensure that they are clean and support numerical values and ratings. These checklists enable companies to report on growth as well as challenges that exist across various departments. These reports are essential and allow businesses to assess whether their improvement efforts are working, and what training is needed to reach their goals.
4. Generation of Auditing TeamsInternal auditing teams can be very successful, especially with all the documentation that goes into completing an audit the right way. While a single auditor would be responsible for actively listening while documenting their findings, a team can allocate responsibilities to various areas such as recording, listening, and documenting. This way, all team members can collaborate to ensure no information is overlooked.
5. Looking at the Whole Picture
When an internal audit is taking place, the auditor or team should be able to look at the picture as a whole, incorporating current situations as well as past audit results. Focus should take place on past issues to determine whether they have been corrected and closed before reassessments take place in the same area. This is a delicate balance that will prove most effective and time efficient.
In addition, there are numerous best practices that should be examined in relation to internal audit activities. An internal audit is usually successful when the auditor is able to implement the following activities.
For more information on how we can help manage your internal audit process, please call us at 800.563.6250 or visit us at www.accupointsoftware.com.
The global economy has produced a business environment that is becoming increasingly globalized and commoditized, forcing companies in all industries to look for viable modalities that ensure that they are able to develop and sustain a competitive edge. Indeed, companies in the oil and gas industry have not been able to escape the need to be more competitive, which begins with effectively creating long-term solutions that facilitate an increase in gross profit. Some of the most effective methods for increasing profit are through increasing operational efficiency and the reduction of fixed costs.
Understanding Operational Excellence
In its simplest form, operational excellence can be understood as an integral component of organizational leadership that places great emphasis on multiples principles, tools and systems that work toward the sustainable improvement of identifiable central performance metrics.
Achieving operational excellence, however, is quite challenging, especially when considering the increased complexity in the area of extreme remote operational environments. One of the most effective approaches that many companies in the petroleum industry are implementing is the complete integration of all processes and assets into an all-inclusive management system. In doing this, the potential for increasing a more effective and efficient operational process, resulting in general operational costs.
Using Methodologies that Keep the Operational Process Connected
One thing that we place substantial gravity on is not allowing the complexity of remote environments to foster disconnects between mechanisms and entities that control performance. When it comes to quality management, we integrate more than 64 operational modules into a single seamless, online management system. By connecting all of our client's API Q2 requirements with one comprehensive solution, we provide our clients with a highly detailed perspective of their operational compliance in all key areas.
Integrated approaches to asset and operational management initially began with a goal of improving Process Safety Management (PSM) — with the primary focus being on HSE system efficiency. Due to the fact that oil and gas companies often operate in hostile environments, using hazardous materials and processes, it is imperative that these processes are effectively managed with a high level of precision and specificity in order to successfully avoid significant process-related accidents. This need for precision and safety resulted in the development of PSM programs and procedures that are normally housed within an HSE system.
Now the idea of integrated processes has been taken to an entirely different level as we work to implement safety and operational efficiency into one single integrated process, through which all variables and components of the operational process can be monitored and managed, even when functioning in extreme and remote environments.
While safety is always at the forefront of any operational process, we understand that time is money, and when time is being wasted on operational processes, the company is hemorrhaging money. As the nature of operational processes continue to increase in complexity, the ability to manage these processes through multiple mechanisms has become increasingly difficult — making it necessary to develop integrated process applications through which the entire operational system can be effectively managed.
When high-paced operations require that API Spec Q1 and/or API Spec Q2 standards be met in multiple processes that are functioning simultaneously, integrating all required standards into one measurement mechanism helps to simplify the compliance and efficiency process. Integrated solutions help to prevent disconnects that can occur when multiple processes are managed through separate systems.
Accupoint can help facilitate operational excellence at a level that ensures that you are able to develop and sustain a competitive edge, as well as maintain quality and safety compliance standards.
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