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Product audit vs product inspection

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alfonsoportillo Created:   Nov 01, 2017 Last commented:   Nov 03, 2017

Product audit vs product inspection

What are the difference between product audit and product inspection? What we need to audit to product different that in inspections?
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IATF 16949 DOCUMENTATION TOOLKIT

Step-by-step implementation for smaller companies.

IATF 16949 DOCUMENTATION TOOLKIT

Step-by-step implementation for smaller companies.

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Strahinja Stojanovic Nov 03, 2017
This is a great question. We can start with the definitions of inspection and audit per the new ISO 9000:2015 standard. Inspection is “Determination of conformity to specified requirements” (3.11.7) and Audit is “systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining objective evidence and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which audit criteria are fulfilled” (3.13.1).

Without parsing the words to much, the difference is one of scale: Inspection is most often associated with inspecting a product or a service to make sure it is right, and an audit is most often associated with a higher-level review of the system that is designed to produce and inspect the product or service. An audit of a manufacturing process wouldn’t just inspect the product, it would ensure (at a system level) that required inspections had already been performed on the product.

I have often made the differentiation in the following way… “An inspection is down in the grass, but to do an audit, you have to climb a tree.” The reflects the difference in purpose an d perspective for an audit. Audits ensure that proper management controls are in place to ensure product quality into the future. Instead of inspecting quality in (to a product produced in the past), an audit evaluates how well a quality system will predict and prevent quality problems (in the future).
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