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 CQA Body of Knowledge

Certified Quality Auditor Body of Knowledge

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I.  General Knowledge, Conduct, Ethics, Audit Administration  (45 questions)

A.General Knowledge

    1. Characteristics of audits

      a. Quality audits

      b. System, process, product, compliance audits

      c. Internal and external audits

      d. First-party, second-party and third-party audits

      e. Qualitative and quantitative audit methods

      f. Objective evidence

    2. Use of standard ASQC auditing terms and definitions

    3. Benefits of audits

    4. Continuing education resources for auditors

    5. Changes and trends in auditing practice

B. Professional Conduct and Ethics

    1. ASQC Code of Ethics

    2. Standards of performance for an auditor

      a. Appropriate auditor behavior

    3. Confidentiality concerns throughout an audit process

    4. AuditorÔs responsibilities

      a. In unethical activities

      b. In unsafe activities

      c. Audit-related conflict-of-interest situations

    5. Methods for resolving difficult situations (e.g., antagonism)

    6. Language when communicating with management

C.Audit Administration

    1. Audit program objectives

    2. Methods for building credibility of audit function

    3. Management of audit function


II.  Audit Preparation (30 questions)

A. Audit Plan Preparation and Documentation

    1. Purpose        

    2. Scope         

    3. Resources

B. Audit Team Selection Criteria

    1. Credentials      

    2. Expertise (skill and knowledge)

    3. Accountability

C. Sources of Authority for Conducting Audits

    1. Standards

      a. Industry   

      b. National/international

    2. Organization     

    3. Hierarchy

    4. Contract           

    5. Regulatory

D. Requirements Against Which to Audit

    1. Standards

    2. Contract

    3. Specifications

    4. Policy

E. Importance and Utility of Quality Documentation

    1. Appropriate

    2. Adequate

    3. Accurate

    4. Current

    5. Prior audit information

F. Checklists/Guidelines/Log Sheets

    1. Tailored for specific audit

    2. Update existing documents

    3. Appropriate use (nonlimiting)

G. Development of Data-Collection Methods

    1. Selecting appropriate tools

    2. Training the auditor in its use

    3. Criteria for selecting the methods

H. Audit Plan Communication and Distribution


III.  Audit Performance (30 questions)

A. Conducting the Opening/Entrance Meeting

    1. Agenda

      a. Purpose

      b. Objectives

      c. Scope

      d. Logistics

      e. Standards

      f. Schedule

    2. Working papers

    3. Responsibilities and roles

    4. Attendees (who should be there)

B. Audit Team Management

    1. General auditing strategies

      a. Tracing forward/backward

      b. Discovery

      c. Department method

      d. Element method

C. Audit Implementation

    1. Interviewing/questioning techniques

      a. Individual

      b. Group  

      c. Telephone

      d. Remote

    2. Purposes and uses of data-collection methods

      a. Analysis

      b. Detection

      c. Summary

      d. Verificatione.Presentation

    3. Methods for verifying documents and records

      a. Tracing

      b. Sampling

      c. Physical examination

    4. Calibration principles and practices

      a. Traceability to recognized international/national standards

D. Audit Analysis

    1. Distinction between chronic and isolated incidents

    2. Classification of nonconformances and noncompliances

    3. Measures for determining effectiveness of controls

E. Closing/Exit Meeting

    1. Elements of closing meeting


IV. Audit Reporting, Corrective Action, Follow-Up and Closure

(25 questions)

A. Reporting

    1. Format and contents of a formal audit report

      a. Identify auditee, client, purpose and scope of audit

      b. Identify audit team members

      c. Identify standards audit was performed to

      d. Significant observation and conclusions

      e. Request/requirements for corrective actions

      f. Distribution of report

    2. Techniques for prioritizing significant observation and conclusions

      a. Pareto analysis

      b. Risk-benefit ratio

      c. Criticality

    3. Recognition of potential effects for similar conditions elsewhere in system/organization

B. Corrective Action and Follow-up

    1. Types of corrective action

      a. Short-term/temporary/containment

      b. Long-term/permanent/root cause

    2. Criteria for acceptable corrective action

      a. Timely

      b. Effectiveness

      c. Preventive

    3. Strategies for verifying corrective actions

      a. Check action vs. standard

      b. Review of quality data

      c. Documentation evaluation

      d. Follow-up visit/audit

    4. Relationship between auditing function and continuous improvement

C. Closure

    1. Criteria for closure

      a. Time period

      b. Corrective action received, accepted, verified

      c. Retention of pertinent paperwork

      d. Notice to auditee indicating closure

    2. Criteria for record retention


V.  Auditing Tools and Techniques (25 questions)

A. Auditing Techniques

    1. Observation techniques

    2. Physical examination tools and techniques

    3. Presentation methods and techniques

    4. Time-management techniques

    5. Sampling theory, procedures, applications for auditing

B. Auditing Tools

    1. Definition and use of charts

      a. Flowcharts/process maps

      b. Pareto charts

      c. Cause-and-effect diagrams

      d. Control/trend charting

        (1)   Variable

        (2)   Attribute

    2. Graphs

      a. Histograms

      b. Frequency distributions  

      c.  Process capability

        (1) Definition

        (2) Types

    3. Pattern and trend analysis

    4. Root-cause analysis

    5. Descriptive statistics

      a. Central tendency (mean, median, mode)

      b. Standard deviation

      c.Variable and attribute data


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