Being prepared for an audit is one of the most important tasks the QHSE manager has. The organization needs to be ready when the auditor shows up. This is not limited to external auditors but also internal audits, supplier audits, and of course, customer audits. We touched upon the importance of having the right culture and how this influences the audits. When QHSE management is really embedded in the culture, you don’t necessarily have to prepare because most things are taken care of.
For lots of companies, audits aren’t much fun. They take a considerable amount of resources and require quite some focus for a couple of days. The auditors are able to ask all kinds of questions and will probably find some shortcomings. Yes, we need these shortcomings to improve the organization, but it is never much fun to hear the things you do wrong. Having the auditors in the organization and interviewing people takes time away from the employees, and it increases the stress level of some of the employees. This has a negative impact on their work. Hence, being greatly prepared for the audit doesn’t only help the QHSE department but also the company as a whole.
Obviously, there are always these things that need to be checked to see if the company is ready. Some important questions we always need to ask ourselves are:
- Have we done the internal audits, and are we on schedule?
- Did we update all the HLS documents?
- Did we do the Management Review?
- Did we do supplier audits?
- Did we do the customer feedback?
- Did we check all the laws and regulations?
This is a guiding checklist and will help with being prepared. Of course, there are a lot more checks and balances, but these are the important ones. A great Management System is embedded in the day-to-day operations and almost runs on its own. Yes, most things can be embedded, but of course, there are still topics that are more or less QHSE management related things, such as Management Reviews and checks for law and legislation. However, supplier checks, customer satisfaction, and even internal audit mechanisms can be part of the day-to-day operation.
How Technology Helps
Having the right platforms helps a ton in being ready for the audits. You get all the notifications you need to make sure you are on track. Also, having a platform that really engages people allows for much more openness and readiness to share. More information will be shared and created, which is crucial during an audit. When all the information is readily available, the audit will go a lot easier.
With Qooling, you are always prepared for upcoming audits. Due to the automation of mundane tasks such as reminders and scheduling, your audits will feel like a walk in the park.