Quick, Reliable, Integrated Management Systems

Q-AUDIT – a better way to manage audits, actions, compliance and risk (release Q1 2017)

Regular, managed auditing is a core driver of any maintenance system, safety system, and many other vital business functions.

Q-AUDIT helps you to ensure that audits are performed systematically, traceably.

All too often audits are performed using spreadsheets, or other tools that fail to ensure that audit information is properly managed, traceable and auditable - and if a busy engineer or auditor identifies any important issues requiring attention during the audit, they need quick and easy way of capturing the details of the problem and perhaps pictures so that an engineer can attend to the problem as quickly as possible.

It may even need a maintenance job to be scheduled, and perhaps a contractor to be brought on site to do the repair; integration with Q-MAINT and Q-PERM makes these functions quick and simple.

A simple user interface that optimises for touch devices, and support for modern Windows devices that convert from PC to tablet, make collecting audit data largely "point and click" - anywhere. The ability to add pictures quickly, minimises the amount of text that must be entered. An "Undocked" feature allows an audit to be performed even in locations where no network connection is possible. Audit results are stored in a database, allowing results to be compared and analysed between locations with similar audit requirements and over time for the same location, making it easy to track progress.

Making the spreadsheets a thing of the past makes audits quicker, easier, more compliant, and more traceable.

Performing an audit is easy.

Once the audit is selected from a list of audits that are due, the "Perform Audit" page is shown. This page shows the list of items to be audited. As the user selects an item in the list, the program shows (on the right) a summary of the details they are supposed to check, and a brief description of their findings for that item. At the bottom of the page, it provides the appropriate way of recording the result for that item.

Answers can take many forms, such as:

  • A simple score which is set on a touch slider (shown on the right)
  • A multiple choice from a list, with a score for each possible answer
  • A number with a set of threshold values, each of which triggers a score when passed.

Several other options are provided.

Questions may be a simple list that needs scoring as here, or more sophisticated, with questions that only appear if a previous question has a particular answer, reaches a given score, or if a previous group of questions reaches a given total.

If, during an audit, an issue is identified, the user just clicks the "Add" button on the question that it most relates to. They can then enter a brief description of the issue. They can also use the "Add Image" button to capture one or more pictures showing the detail using the webcam from the device, with a brief optional note detailing what each image shows.

If Q-MAINT is installed, each issue arising can automatically become a maintenance request, allowing the necessary work to be scheduled and tracked.

Many modern factories are big earthed metal buildings, where it is hard or impossible to ensure mobile or WiFi connectivity at locations where audits must be performed.  Q-MAINT supports an undocked mode, where all the data needed for a day's audits are loaded into a laptop or tablet with just one click.  You can then walk around the factory doing the audits, and all changes and new information including comments, photos, new maintenance requests etc will be automatically synchronised back to your main system when the laptop or tablet is re-docked.

Designing an audit program is almost as easy as performing one:

On the right, you specify a list of questions, with the maximum score that each question can reach, and which group the question is part of.

In the groups tab, you can specify the groups, and the conditions under which each group will be included in the audit.

For each question, you can specify the detailed points that the auditor should check.

Then you can specify how the answer to the audit question should be entered. For a question that requires just a simple score, no further detail is required; for other forms of answer, you can specify the list of answers or thresholds, and the scores that would apply to each.

On the left hand side of the page, you can specify which locations within the site this audit program applies to, and how frequently it should be performed at each location. Q-AUDITwill then automatically schedule the audits due at each location, and audits as they are performed, highlight overdue audits, etc. 

A work assignment function allows particular audits to be allocated to an auditor and scheduled for a specific date/time.  The automated email notification system included in all QRIMS applications will notify the person who is to perform the audit, as well as(if appropriate) the "owner" of the location where work is to be performed, when an audit is scheduled, started, or completed.