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© Transition Support  Last Edit 15/12/2017 00:29:20 

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Process Auditing

What is a process audit?

A process audit is an examination of results to determine whether the activities, resources and behaviours that cause them are being managed efficiently and effectively. A process audit is not simply following a trail through a department from input to output - this is a transaction audit. Processes generate results therefore for an audit to be a process audit it has to establish whether the results are being generated by an effectively managed process.

What is an effectively managed process?


An effective process is one that achieves the results that are intended – i.e. the objectives. An effectively managed process is a process in which the activities, resources and behaviours are planned, organized and controlled in a way that the outputs achieve specified objectives as illustrated right:

How do process audits differ from procedure audits?

As indicated above, process audits focus on results and this is the principal difference between procedures audits that in general focus on tasks.


Procedures Audits

Process Audits

Identifies what tasks are being performed

Identifies what objectives are required to be achieved

Identifies who performs the tasks

Identifies the factors affecting success

Identifies the procedures governing the tasks

Establishes what the process is for achieving the objectives

Establishes whether the procedures are being followed

Verifies that the controls in place are consistent with the success factors

Establishes whether the person is trained to perform the task

Establishes the competences and capabilities required to deliver the process outputs

Verifies that the documentation is current and the equipment is calibrated

Establishes that competence and capability is being assessed effectively

Verifies that the working conditions are suitable

Establishes what results are being achieved

Establishes where the inputs come from and where the outputs go to

Establishes how outputs are being measured

Verifies that the personnel making acceptance decisions are authorised to do so

Verifies the integrity of the results

Verifies maintenance of records

Establishes that performance, efficiency and effectiveness is reviewed

Verifies conformity with ISO 9001

Establishes that improvement in performance, efficiency and effectiveness is pursued

More information about process auditing can be found in Chapters 55 of the ISO 9000 Quality Systems Handbook 7E