Periodic, independent, and documented examination and verification of activities, records, processes, and other elements of a quality system to determine their conformity with the requirements of a quality standard such as ISO 9000. Any failure in their proper implementation may be published publicly and may lead to a revocation of quality certification. Also called conformity assessment or quality system audit.
A quality audit is a process by which you review and evaluate an element of your business to ensure that you're meeting certain standards. The standards vary—you can set them or you can follow standards set by your industry.
TYPES OF QUALITY AUDITS
A quality audit can apply to various aspects of a business, but a few types stand out. You can perform a quality audit of your inventory or service to assure that it's acceptable for consumption by the public. This is particularly important in the case of a product or service that could pose a threat to public safety. Some business owners perform quality audits on employees, or rather the way employees perform. This is particularly important in an atmosphere where workers must interact directly with customers. The business may also perform quality audits on management, which would require a third-party evaluator in the case of a small company managed by the owner. Finally, if the company has to maintain information in databases, you can also perform data quality audits.
SIGNIFICANCE OF QUALITY AUDITS
Performing quality audits are important for a few key reasons. For one, it ensures that the business is offering a value to the public. For instance, selling a high-quality product or employing high-quality customer service personnel can fuel future sales. It's also useful for advertising the business—informing the public that the company is committed to quality standards and performs these regular audits may help increase consumer confidence in the business. Finally, regular quality audits help protect the business from issues that could arise from selling a poor quality product.