Auditors ascertain the existence or lack (usually tangible) of a practice in a specific or narrow scope of determinants as measured against predetermined or prescribed standards. The final outcome of an audit is usually a yes/no consideration. A quality auditor is a professional who understands the standards and principles of auditing and the auditing techniques of examining, questioning, evaluating, and reporting to determine a quality system’s adequacy and deficiencies. The quality auditor analyzes all elements of a quality system and judges its degree of adherence to the criteria of industrial management and quality evaluation and control systems.
A quality management system (QMS) is the part of the overall management system that ensures that you can meet or exceed customer expectations for quality in products and services. A QMS includes the development of a formalized quality policy as well as a planning phase outlining the structures, responsibilities, and procedures for quality within an organization. It also includes the verification of those procedures and a focus on continual improvement of the system.
A QMS allows an organization to take control of the quality of its products and services, putting a plan in place for consistency and showing when corrective actions are needed. QMS are quality and productivity tools, and therefore benefit the whole organization. Benefits can also extend to the supply chain if applied throughout, improving product quality and the relationships between suppliers, clients, and end customers.
See also: ISO 9000