Peter Deegan: A frequent question that we get is "should a qualified person or trainee qualified person attend one of our RSSL lead auditor training courses?" Absolutely. To me lead auditor skills and auditing skills in general are part of the core competence of any quality professional they say that the qualified person has to walk the factory every day, annex 16 requires them to have a reasonable understanding of what's going on. How do you achieve that in a structured manner? How can you achieve that by gaining objective evidence rather than an opinion, rather than supposition?
This is what the auditing course teaches you.
How to structure your questions, how to structure your information, how to structure your interviews, your conversations and auditing is just part of the everyday skill and and should become part of you just naturally and I think the lead auditor course gives you a great structure as a QP to be able to start that interrogation, to start that journey, to start that structure, in a far more accurate way than just being able to assume that the quality system is working because nobody told me anything's wrong.
We tend to assume that when you say audit it's assumed to be a standalone event. Well to me auditing is just part of what you do every day as a quality professional. Every time you're meeting with production managers, packaging managers, suppliers, you should be gaining a thorough knowledge of the capability and competence and evidence that the quality system is operating as intended as it should be every day.
So, if you're taught to be a lead auditor that then starts to get under your skin, starts to be part of who you are and it really will change.
I can only speak from my personal experience that once I had attended the lead auditor course it changed my way of thinking, of auditing. It allowed me to structure it allowed me to set accountabilities, it allowed me to direct the audit team so that we're all rowing in the same direction. Quite often you can get a little bit of conflict in the audit team different opinions, how are you going to manage that conflict? How are you going to show one united front to the auditee at the closing meeting who they clearly know as I said before they know their quality system far better than you and you've got to show some non-compliances and ask for continuous improvement.
That's really what I think the lead auditor course teaches you.
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