Quality Management Systems (QMS) are common in highly regulated industries. They are used as a way to put procedures in place to control the flow of work and processes in an organization. One vital aspect of a QMS is the ability to measure a particular process. Measuring a process provided engineers with the incentive tool-set needed to refine and improve the process. Continuous improvement is the goal of almost very QMS. The challenge is identifying the right audit procedures for the system.
Create a checklist for each audit. The checklist can be in any format, including a simple "Yes/No" form. Begin by asking a question about current tracking activities. Customize to the specific activity, department or role. These should be evident in the current process, not hidden. Request information or documentation about how the oversight is being conducted to be included with the audit.
One of the most important aspects of any QMS is the ability to adhere to a schedule. Check to see a schedule is in place. Create a way to monitor staff and review meetings. Handling all peer or management reviews on a timely basis is also critical. Define all roles and responsibilities of current staff and make sure all review meetings are conducted according to schedule.
Ask questions about the process for making changes to a process. Review procedures and meeting notes or tables of content for past meetings. If there's a plan in place, that is, a formal intake or ratification process, take notes on how closely employees are following procedures as outlined. Any deviations from the procedures should be documented just after approval.