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Outsourced Audits - Career Question

M

MDhappy

#1
I have a question for those of you that perform internal audits as a consultant, or for those of you that have an opinion on the subject...

I hold a FT position as a Quality Assurance Manager. I love my job, I love the people I work with, and I really love the company I work for. The downside? I have been at the same company for 10+ years... I really would like to see other Quality Systems.

I have been pondering the idea of performing third party audits for other companies. I love internal audits, and am quite good at providing constructive feedback and probably most importantly in the QMS world, my audits pass registrar audits. :D

However, here are the things that cross my mind when I think about it:
Getting approval from my own company; ensuring there is not a conflict of interest or ASQ ethical violations; certifications: is lead auditor and ASQ CMQ/OE enough; business license - I imagine I need to provide some sort of identity for tax purposes and report any income myself...; disclosing my current employer: I imagine that would be important; NDA, I am assuming each company would have outsiders sign their NDA, but does a consultant need to be prepared with their own?

These are just some of my thoughts... What have others found out there? What are your thoughts? We all know Internal Audits are best suited by internal employees, however, the next best thing should be useful information designed to make your system better, third party or not. :)

:thanks:
 
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yodon

Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
Maybe consider another option. Our local (N. TX) ASQ Audit SIG has a 'service' arm called ASIGAS (ASQ Audit SIG Audit Services). We have a number of lead auditors that need audit time to maintain their certifications. So ASIGAS provides free audit services for local companies (we do ask them to buy lunch for the auditors). We generally put a team together comprising a lead auditor, one or 2 qualified auditors, and 1 or 2 observers.

Indeed, we require auditors be ethical and recuse themselves if there is a potential for conflict of interest. We also require that auditors cannot do business with the companies for a year after the audit (to avoid any motivation for priming the consulting pump). It's a great way to get involved and clients love the service.

So you might check with your local ASQ chapter to see if they have such a SIG. If not, you can always start one! :)
 
M

MDhappy

#5
I had not, until now. I am familiar with the baldrige program, but had not considered participating in the elite few. It is my goal to be more professionally active in the next 12-24 months.... Thanks for the comment!
 
M

mlaurie

#6
Yodon,
I thought Lead Auditors were in short supply, especially with AS9100C still not fully complete and 9001:2015 on the horizon. I?m Prepping to be a contract auditor, I have a heavy background in aerospace and medical devices. But it sounds like this might not be in demand as I thought. What are your thoughts?
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#7
Yodon,
I thought Lead Auditors were in short supply, especially with AS9100C still not fully complete and 9001:2015 on the horizon. I?m Prepping to be a contract auditor, I have a heavy background in aerospace and medical devices. But it sounds like this might not be in demand as I thought. What are your thoughts?
AS9100 and medical device industry auditors are indeed in short supply.
 
J

Jeff Frost

#8
Jennier,

I know two AS9100 LA’s from your organization and they have plenty of work but it might be helpful if you could give some insight into typical work load you are seeing in the field.
 

yodon

Staff member
Super Moderator
#9
Yodon,
I thought Lead Auditors were in short supply, especially with AS9100C still not fully complete and 9001:2015 on the horizon. I?m Prepping to be a contract auditor, I have a heavy background in aerospace and medical devices. But it sounds like this might not be in demand as I thought. What are your thoughts?
I can attest, as Jennifer noted, that 13485 auditors are in short supply based on the feedback I get from the 'audit houses' (BSI, etc.) and from personal experience (it's hard to schedule our auditor!).
 
M

mlaurie

#10
In regards to MD Happy?s ?Quest?

I?m surprised to hear there are companies willing to allow auditors to do their internal audits, but makes sense if the price is right, free. Still a sticky wicket with potential liability of NCs.

I would suggest targeting your suppliers. They are required to allow customer audits. You may get better buy in from top management to do them. Companies not associated with your business probably won?t allow any 3rd party/independent audits even for free, they?re not required, why spend the internal resources?!
We?re AS9100C and have a 13485 medical division, about 10 people in each division. A surveillance audit is 2 days by our CB + the ? Report Prep. Unless you?re a customer or a potential customer, you don?t get in. I do well to find time for my internals but we wouldn't allow anyone in, even for free. PO in / Product out is the real policy of some? or most, but not all companies.
 
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