Audit Conference

The ASQ Joint Audit Division and Quality Management Division Conference will be held in Tucson, AZ on October 10-11, 2013. You can view the program and four tracks of presentations at this web page.  You can register for the conference at this web page.

Larry Whittington will be a speaker on Thursday, October 11, at 2:45 PM. The abstract for his Audit Interviews presentation is shown below:

Audit Interviews

Audit interviews are one of four ways to gather information during an audit, the others being to review documents, observe operations, and examine records. Auditors have to conduct effective interviews to perform a successful audit. During interviews, we gather information about processes that may not be described in a documented procedure or instruction. We find out what is really happening and confirm our audit findings.

This session will begin with a reminder of why we conduct audits and review the six major audit activities. Auditor responsibilities will be covered next, followed by why audit interviews are so important, and what it means for auditors to be fair during an interview.

A 3-dimensional audit approach will then be addressed for judging conformity and effectiveness, along with the basic steps of an audit interview, including use of an audit checklist. Next will be a discussion of the different types of questions to be asked in an interview, with sample questions provided for your use. Since auditors take notes during interviews, the session will also cover good note taking practices.

The confidence people have in the audit results will be influenced by the competence of the auditor. The session discusses those competencies, especially the communication skills needed for audit interviews. The presenter will describe why nonconformities happen, how people may react to nonconformities found during your interviews, and how you can deal with their possible reactions and delaying tactics.

It is important to remember the four primary sources of evidence so you ask the right questions to judge conformity to requirements. The DORS and LOCS acronyms will be introduced as helpful memory aids. The session will conclude with a review of the six audit principles upon which the audit guidance in ISO 19011:2011 is based, plus a summary of the benefits of monitoring systems through audits.

Note: I hope to see you in Tucson. The audit conference will be held at the Hilton El Conquistador Golf and Tennis Resort. You can read about the hotel and transportation options at this web page.  Regards, Larry