Course Content
Develop evaluation plan
This topic covers: 1.1 Obtain and interpret information on organisation’s policies, procedures and compliance requirements 1.2 Develop evaluation methodology 1.3 Prepare evaluation plan, detailing established evaluation criteria and data to be collected 1.4 Confirm approval of plan from relevant stakeholders
Identifying and gathering evidence
This topic focuses on these three steps: 2.1 Identify sources of information according to audit plan 2.2 Interview relevant stakeholders 2.3 Gather information and documentation
Exit meeting and performance improvement
4.1 Review, assess, and reach agreement on audit team findings according to audit plan 4.2 Prepare for exit meeting 4.3 Examine results and findings against audit objectives and present to relevant stakeholders 4.4 Confirm reporting arrangements for the quality audit with the auditee 4.5 Explain context and consequences of audit and discuss follow-up 4.6 Review and submit final audit report according to audit plan 5.1 Provide feedback on performance to audit team 5.2 Encourage and support audit team to review their own work 5.3 Provide and document advice for individual improvement
BSBAUD512 Lead quality audit
About Lesson

Process-Based Audit Approach

The process-based audit focuses on understanding and evaluating an organisation’s processes in relation to the desired outcomes of the quality management system. This approach emphasises the importance of adding value, improving organisational performance, and ensuring customer satisfaction through effective process management and improvement.

How It Is Conducted

  1. Planning the Audit:
    • Define the audit objectives, scope, and criteria, ensuring they align with organisational goals and compliance requirements.
    • Select an audit team with the necessary competence and impartiality.
    • Develop an audit plan that outlines the schedule, activities, and resources required.


  1. Reviewing Documentation:
    • Before the on-site activities, review the organisation’s documented information related to the quality management system (QMS), including policies, procedures, and records. This helps in understanding the processes and how they are supposed to interact and contribute to achieving quality objectives.


  1. Conducting an Opening Meeting:
    • An opening meeting with the auditee’s management and process owners sets the tone for the audit, clarifies the objectives, scope, and plan, and addresses any initial concerns.


  1. Performing Process Audits:
    • Auditors observe and evaluate the actual activities and compare them with the documented procedures and standards.
    • They gather evidence through observation, interviews with employees, and review of relevant documents and records.
    • The focus is on the effectiveness of processes in meeting the stated objectives, the adequacy of resources, the competence of personnel, the monitoring and measuring of performance, and the implementation of necessary improvements.


  1. Identifying Nonconformities:
    • Where discrepancies between the actual practices and the documented system or between the outcomes and the objectives are found, these are noted as nonconformities. Auditors use evidence-based judgment to determine the severity and impact of these findings.


  1. Conducting a Closing Meeting:
    • Present the audit findings, including strengths, weaknesses, and nonconformities, to the management and relevant personnel.
    • Discuss the implications of the findings and suggest opportunities for improvement.


  1. Audit Report: 
    • A detailed audit report is prepared, documenting the audit findings, evidence, and conclusions. The report should provide clear information that can be used to make informed decisions for corrective actions and improvements.


  1. Follow-up:
    • Depending on the audit findings, a follow-up may be necessary to verify that corrective actions have been effectively implemented and that the desired improvements are being achieved.


The process-based audit approach is effective because it provides a comprehensive view of how well an organisation’s processes are designed and managed to meet quality objectives and customer requirements. It encourages continuous improvement by focusing on process effectiveness and efficiency, which is central to quality management.

In practice, the choice of audit method and its effectiveness will also depend on the organisation’s culture, the competence of the auditors, and the commitment of top management to the quality management system and the audit process.

Another common method is Risk-based auditing. For a video explaining this process, watch this video: