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Author Topic:   TIME LIMITS ON AUDITS
GAYLE SPENCER
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Posts: 5
From:COLD SPRING,KY. USA
Registered: May 2000

posted 24 May 2000 11:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GAYLE SPENCER   Click Here to Email GAYLE SPENCER     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
CAN ANYONE TELL ME IF THEY PUT A TIME LIMIT ON THEIR INTERNAL AUDITS. OUR UPPER MANAGEMENT WANTS ME TO TELL MY AUDITORS TO CUT DOWN ON THE TIME IT TAKES TO DO AN AUDIT. I`M TRAINING THE AUDITORS TO DO SLICE AUDITS INSTEAD OF THE INDIVIDUAL SECTION AUDITS. THEY THINK IT TAKES TO LONG TO COMPLETE OUR AUDITS. DOES EVERYONE LIMIT THEIR AUDITORS IN THIS MANNER?

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Dawn
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From:St. Marys, PA
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posted 24 May 2000 08:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dawn   Click Here to Email Dawn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What do you mean by slice audits?

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GAYLE SPENCER
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From:COLD SPRING,KY. USA
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posted 25 May 2000 02:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GAYLE SPENCER   Click Here to Email GAYLE SPENCER     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
HELLO DAWN,
A SLICE AUDIT IS WHEN YOU TAKE ONE PART FROM
YOUR PRODUCTION AREA AND TRACE IT FROM THE TIME YOU RECEIVED THE QUOTE UNTIL YOU SHIP IT OUT TO THE CUSTOMER. THIS WILL ALLOW YOU TO GO THROUGH ALL THE SECTIONS OF THE QS MANUAL( FROM 4.1 TO 4.20). YOU CAN FIND OUT IF ONE OR SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE MANUAL HAVE BEEN SKIPPED. YOU DONT REALLY HAVE ANY GUIDE LINE TO GO BY,YOU JUST HAVE TO KNOW THE QSA QUESTIONS. AND YOU DONT HAVE TO ASK THE SAME QUESTIONS ALL THE TIME.

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Kevin Mader
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From:Seymour, CT USA
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posted 25 May 2000 06:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Mader   Click Here to Email Kevin Mader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gayle,

Your senior level managers are more interested in other things other than true improvement. The slice audit you describe is more indicative of a process or product audit, not a systems audit. Looking at a single event is not indicative of all events or circumstances. I would be suspect of the results.

How long will it take to improve quality and profitability? Longer than they have time for. I have run into similar issues and my response to them is this. O.K. then, what is too much and what is too little? The usual response: stupified looks.

The issue here is that they see IA as an ISO requirement, not an improvement tool. They need to see it as an improvement tool.

Regards,

Kevin

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Don Watt
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From:Notts,United Kingdom
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posted 26 May 2000 03:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Don Watt   Click Here to Email Don Watt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
IMHO, "slice" audits are a perfectly valid way of conducting internal audits, providing they are backed up with system audits by the MR.
This relates pretty closely to the thread on Internal Audit Focus.

As far as cutting down on auditing time, this suggests that the management team do not see the value of internal audits as an improvement tool. I will not commit to the time taken to perform an IA - it takes as long as is needed. "How long is a piece of string?"

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Jim Biz
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From:ILLINOIS
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posted 26 May 2000 09:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Biz   Click Here to Email Jim Biz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Folks: Interesting a "Limit" on audit time....?

I've attempted to ask a similar question in another thread ... my management has asked that I plan for "How long it SHOULD take" (without actually setting a "limit") - next to impossible from a program standpoint in my view...

But external auditors have a guideline for time spent onsite... therefore my management feels we should have an internal guideline for how long we "should" spend on internals(if it takes longer than I've planned so be it...) But setting a "time LIMIT" tells me someone dosen't understand the process..

The "slice audit" approach although valid tends to make me believe that an external auditor could easily find standards requirement areas that were not questioned.
We have been blessed with a couple of minors from that viewpoint (IE 4.11.2 internal questioning did not directly adress section i)

In an attempt to "Balance" time spent I have planned and average 3 hours per procedure and/or work instruction document.

1 hr prep time
1 hr actual questioning
1 hr report makeup

Some take longer - some only take 15 minutes.
WHO actually makes up the audit questions and the final reports can make a big difference in effective time spent...

Regards
Jim

[This message has been edited by Jim Biz (edited 26 May 2000).]

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Chris W
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From:Leipsic, Ohio, USA
Registered: May 2000

posted 26 May 2000 03:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chris W   Click Here to Email Chris W     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My company is relatively small in size. We have divided our facility in to nine audit areas. We currently have nine internal auditors from various departments.

Audit packets created specific to each audit area are handed out at the beginning of the month that the audit is due. This allows the auditors to perform the audit when time allows. Four of the nine auditors work a 12 hour swing shift that rotates on a 28 day cycle. It is difficult for them to perform an audit unless they are working days which is every other week. Audit results are then presented to Management at our monthly meeting on the second Wednesday of the month.

This seems to work for us pretty well. I would not want to specify a certain amount of time for each audit. Each auditor is different and therefore has their own style. Also, some audit areas are larger than other areas and thus require more time to be spent auditing them.

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barb butrym
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posted 27 May 2000 03:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for barb butrym   Click Here to Email barb butrym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I typically preach one hour hunks at a time. you may not get it all done, so reschedule and go back, but 1 hour is plenty of interruption to the process at a time...for both the auditor and the auditee. As experience is gained, the hour becomes more productive...the hour is interview time.....prep and report depend on the complexity of the audit program, again my rule is keep it simple. With history behind you ...you can adjust the scope of the audit to fit the time allotted....as well as the # of audits to evaluate the system

[This message has been edited by barb butrym (edited 27 May 2000).]

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George Baker
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From:Danville, IL, USA
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posted 01 June 2000 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for George Baker   Click Here to Email George Baker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting discussion topic. I have auditing responsibility for four QS-9000 registered plants in a 25-mile radius. We use a team of auditors from plants A,B, and C to audit plant D, and so on so that they never audit themselves. At each plant, they get two complete system audits each year, roughly two months prior to the next scheduled surveillance audit. In between the complete audits, each plant has two "element" audits covering those elements where there have been problems in the past. We have a total of about 50 qualified internal auditors, which might seem like a lot until you consider 4 audits per year times 4 plants, times 3 shifts. We typically spend two days doing a system audit and one day doing an "element" audit. We are just now beginning to get into some process auditing (taking a control plan and walking a product completely through a process.) I invite your comments.

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Marc Smith
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posted 03 June 2000 04:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Do a cycle of process audits and review your findings. That should show whether they are going to be of value or not. I personally see more value in them than in systems audits.

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Claes Gefvenberg
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posted 22 June 2000 05:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Claes Gefvenberg   Click Here to Email Claes Gefvenberg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Amazing... So your upper management wants you to limit audit time..?

I have no such restrictions, but I feel certain that I would have them if excessive time was spent...

The neccessary amount of time should be estimated when a certain audit is being planned, depending on the scope... Not by any set rules. In short: We must be prepared to spend the neccessary time doing the job.

There is a saying: We never have the time to do things properly, but we always have the time to do them again when they failed. Right?

Claes Gefvenberg

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Marc Smith
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posted 24 June 2000 05:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Claes Gefvenberg:
I have no such restrictions, but I feel certain that I would have them if excessive time was spent...
Yes you do. You would not allow a 4 week (extreme example) audit by a team of 4 of one 12 person department or 1 ISO element in a company of (another example) 100 people. You make a decision based upon many factors, but you do have time limits. What you believe is acceptable another person in another company may believe is insufficient and I may believe is overkill.

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Claes Gefvenberg
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From:Sweden
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posted 26 June 2000 10:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Claes Gefvenberg   Click Here to Email Claes Gefvenberg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Marc Smith:
[Yes you do. You would not allow a 4 week (extreme example) audit by a team of 4 of one 12 person department or 1 ISO element in a company of (another example) 100 people. You make a decision based upon many factors, but you do have time limits. What you believe is acceptable another person in another company may believe is insufficient and I may believe is overkill.

Agreed... In the example given, there would most certainly be a reaction. So, the time spent will have to be within reason.

Maybe I should have expressed myself more clearly, but what I meant was: If I were to go to extremes concerning the time used, my superiors would clamp down on it and give me very firm directions. ( So would any management... )

Claes Gefvenberg

(Edited for html error)

[This message has been edited by Marc Smith (edited 27 June 2000).]

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Marc Smith
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posted 27 June 2000 08:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I guess the question becomes how much time is Gayle taking and what does management expect. A 'slice audit' can take considerable time but how much also is a question of how complex the product is and other related varibles.

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Kevin Mader
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From:Seymour, CT USA
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posted 27 June 2000 01:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Mader   Click Here to Email Kevin Mader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Marc Smith:
I guess the question becomes how much time is Gayle taking and what does management expect. A 'slice audit' can take considerable time but how much also is a question of how complex the product is and other related varibles.

I quite agree: one size does not fit all.

Regards,

Kevin

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