The audit is a process that involves communication and interaction between the participants. The AQUAS Management System contains an auditing procedure which AQUAS personnel follow in the conduct of audits.
All AQUAS personnel possess suitable qualifications and a demonstrated level of experience in the audit process. All staff responsible for the conduct of audits have appropriate qualifications and are certified by Exemplar Global (RABQSA). AQUAS personnel are certified to conduct internal and external (second party) Compliance and Systems Audits of Quality, Occupational Health and Safety and Environmental Management and are proficient at conducting audits in a professional, non-confrontational manner. This provides a greater opportunity for both auditors and auditees to gain the maximum benefit from the audit.
The Audit process allows an organisation to demonstrate compliance to requirements such as Standards, Specifications, Contracts and Legislation. Once the extent of compliance has been verified, follow-up actions can be undertaken and feedback evaluated. The Audit Process can be divided into three distinct phases each of which consist of an interrelated set of procedures necessary to conduct an effective audit:
- Pre-audit Phase (or planning phase)
- Audit Phase (or auditing phase)
- Post-audit Phase (or reporting phase)
The Pre-Audit Phase is the planning and preparation stage of an audit. To achieve the maximum benefit of an audit, the audit team must spend considerable time in planning and preparing for an on-site audit. This stage is crucial to the success of the on-site auditing activities and consists of:
- Risk Assessment
- Determining the Audit team
- Background Reading
- Determining the Audit Scope
- Determining Audit Criteria
- Development of Checklist
- Developing the Terms of Reference and Audit Plan
Conducting the Audit
Audits are conducted according to AS/NZS ISO 19011:2018 "Guidelines for quality and/or environmental management systems auditing" and comprise of:
- An Opening Meeting
- The audit
- Site Inspection
- Review of Findings
- A Closing Meeting
The post-audit phase is when the results of the Audit are collated, documented and analysed to produce:
- An Audit Report
- Audit follow-up
- Audit feedback
Audit Reports are provided to the client within the period specified by the client (within 10-15 working days). Time taken to issue Audit Reports is monitored and reviewed at management level.
AQUAS also regularly reviews its auditing process and procedures by obtaining feedback from clients and auditees. This information is also collated and reviewed at management meetings.