QMS or Quality Management System entails and demands from organisations systematic and continual processes of improvement on the quality front. Keeping customers requirements in mind, it encourages organisations to prevent avoidable errors, adverse outcomes and reduction of waste during production.
Auditing – Most Difficult While Imposing QMS
QMS draws it guidelines on ‘quality’ from the standards entailed in ISO 9000: 2000, the latest ISO QMS version. This version is both expansive and exhaustive, thus, posing tenuous challenges to the companies for its fulfilment. The principles and standards of the version are adapted to the new and ever-changing international markets, businesses, and socio-cultural and political conditions of the day. Implementation of ISO in the newer context demands arduous efforts. Most organisations face maximum difficulties in the auditing process. Auditors need to evolve their own unique techniques since no definite method serves as the necessary recipe for their successful implementation of QMS.
What makes Auditing Daunting?
Auditors are placed in sensitive positions charged with maintaining or changing perceptions about their company. Their job while drawing up QMS audits need to be based on the following standards.
Auditing requires new mindset
The expansive scope of standards ISO 9000: 2000 demands newer approaches and style of work from the auditors, stemming from the rather drastically different mindset. In adherence to IAF (International Accreditation Forum) auditors need to constantly work in tandem with numerous certification bodies and registrars, which make new laws and regulations on safety, environment etc from time to time. Companies need to abide by them and provide evidence-based audits the the concerned authorities.
Requires regular and rigorous communication
Auditors need to work with a range of sections in the organisation, which also includes the two extreme ends of the spectrum – the top management and board of directors, and, the shop-floor workers. They have to undergo appropriate training to imbibe intellectual potential and socio-cultural sensitivity to accomplish successful communication. Collection of relevant data and feedback for audits entail vibrant interactions with the relevant departments.
Audits needs are expansive and complex
- On Governance and Corporate Responsibility
Conformity assessment has significantly broadened for all organisations calling upon compliance with the latest ISO Quality standards. Auditors need to document with evidence the performance of the organisation on governance and corporate responsibility. Auditing principles mentioned in ISO 19011:2000 demand ethical conduct, independence, fair presentations and evidence-based approaches. Continual review of these principles assures quality and to attain it auditors have to have their toes on the track relentlessly.
- On Practice of Environmental Standards
Environmental laws and regulations have become stringent for manufacturers worldwide, which find their expression in the latest quality management principles of the ISO version. Auditors through their reports establish how the overall results of the output align with the environmental friendly practices in the factories and plants. A positive report is critical for gaining conformities.
The socio-cultural, political and business context of commerce is always in a state of flux. However, in the flux what remains fixed in the heart of all the practices is Quality. ISO 90001 (quality) and ISO 14001 (environment) have brought forth new challenges to enterprises, especially to their auditing teams.
An active and dedicated auditing staff is required to implement the QMS principles so that their organisations attain the desired standards as spelt out by the ISO. Amongst other factors, organisations require impressive audits for their success.