Auditing Abroad - Internal Audits of our European Sister Companies

DougieB

Starting to get Involved
#1
I am a quality engineer from Scotland and I need to travel to France, Spain, Germany and Sweden to do internal audits of our European sister companies. Only been at the company for e few months. There are no procedures in place at the companies, looking for any advice possible.
 
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somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
~~~ Welcome to the Elsmar Cove DougieB ~~~

I am a quality engineer from Scotland and I need to travel to France, Spain, Germany and Sweden to do internal audits of our European sister companies. Only been at the company for e few months. There are no procedures in place at the companies, looking for any advice possible.
Have you been to these companies before ?
If not, it is worth to visit them all to get a first hand direct feeling about what happens over there.
There are no procedures in place at the companies
Seems too harsh to me. Many procedures need not be documented procedures.
Have a good Europe tour.
 
#3
I am a quality engineer from Scotland and I need to travel to France, Spain, Germany and Sweden to do internal audits of our European sister companies. Only been at the company for e few months. There are no procedures in place at the companies, looking for any advice possible.

Dougie! The alarm bells should be sounding! Why are you being tasked to do these audits? If there's no quality management system (typically documented in procedures) what are you going to audit against? I started off this way myself and the thing went badly - for management! You should check with whomever is tasking you with this audit - they may not be clear themselves why this is being done and you need to be very clear what's expected - as do the sites you'll be visiting!
 
S

supermac

#4
Dougie,
I would endorse AndyN's concerns. You have provided so little information it's almost impossible to help. But let's assume that everything is above board - you are not just a UXB. Here are just some of the questions (there are so many!) you need to ask before you commit to undertake this adventure:
What are the business reasons for undertaking these audits?
Who will pay the bills?
Who will be your host?
Who will receive the audit reports?
Will there be translators available?
Have any audits been undertaken before?
 

DougieB

Starting to get Involved
#5
Hi Folks,

Thanks for all the replies, It is a very reputable company I am working for and I have written some of the procedures for here and the places abroad seem to be smaller and I will have to write the procedures when I go there (hopefully similar). The company has been ISO registered for a few years but admit it was more a badge than a commitment to quality. They have brought me in mow to look at and assess things. I will be given someone to work with at each of the branches but do not want to spend the entire year abroad.
 

DougieB

Starting to get Involved
#6
Supermac,
The company will pick up all the Bills. They seem a really well run business and they want ISO accreditation throughout Europe. No audits have been undertaken before and the manager here seems great and will support me if I ask for anything. The audit reports will go direct to each branch manager and the manager here as well. I will be given time and I am not being put under pressure. I think it may just be a fear of the unknown and not wanting to spend to much time away from home. I think I will write out all the procedures first and then go back and audit them later in the year, would anyone suggest this was the best approach?
 
S

supermac

#8
That makes things a little clearer. It doesn't sound like an audit, more like a Gap Analysis you are undertaking; followed by consultancy - it is a year long project. I would strongly recommend you don't refer to it any way (especially in documentation) as an audit.

You should consider the end-point of the project plan (which is the very first thing you should do before you even arrange your travel) as the successful implementation of the corrective actions from the actual audit.

You will obviously not be able to audit any of these organisations because you will have put the QMS, procedures etc in place.

If you want more detail, please post.
 

DougieB

Starting to get Involved
#9
Thanks supermac,

I have written the procedures for here I just want to go out there now and get procedures written for all the European ones, just do't know what to expect. I like the forum only joined on Friday, I will let people know how I get on and post any interesting problems that arise.
 
S

supermac

#10
I hadn't seen your latest post when I sent mine.

You still need to consider the implications of 'Auditors shall not audit their own work.'

I may be wrong but because you mention 'branch' I immediately think you are not in manufacturing. That will put a different light on what I am about to say.

At some point through this project (especially when you and the branches are more comfortable with each other) you should consider undertaking remote audits. It can be far more efficient and even more effective than physically being onsite. Even if you don't go that far you should consider undertaking a lot of the work using ICT.
 
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