In this post, we will discuss how to maintain a constant state of audit Readiness for unexpected audits, as well as what you can do to prepare before the audit commences.
Gathering commonly requested items ahead of time we will also take an in-depth look at the role of the audit coordinator and provided detailed recommendations for the audit Operation Center.
Next, we’ll talk about how to handle the audit itself including the opening meeting gathering documents for the auditor answering the auditor’s questions laboratory facility tour and the exit meeting.
Maintaining Audit Readiness
As some audits can be performed without notice or it’s very short notice the laboratory should operate under a state of audit readiness at all times if you do receive a notice of the audit there are a number of things that can be done before the audit commences.
- Review your Laboratories SOPs on receiving inspectors and handling inspections.
- Review past inspection reports, and attempt to identify items that may be a particular interest or concern to the inspectors.
- Try to determine the identity of the auditors and their area of expertise.
- Assign each inspector a host.
- Determine, as far as possible, the scope and methods of the audit, this will often be discussed during the initial meeting.
- Book rooms for the auditors and a room to act as the operation center.
- Identify subject matter experts for each area together with substitutes.
- It is not unknown for auditors to request to observe a demonstration of a particular method. This may, in particular, happen during a client audit when the client wishes to assess the competency of the laboratory to perform a particular test. It would be good practice to identify someone with significant experience to perform any demonstrations before the audit commences.
- Establish as much as possible a tour route.
- Walk through the tour route and check all of the following:
- Instrument log books instrument status and calibration status.
- The expiry date of chemicals, reagent, mobile phases and solvents – remove or revise all out-of-date reagents.
- For laboratory glassware, in particular, confirm the calibration markings on volumetric glassware are clearly visible. Also, confirm that the correct grade of glassware is being used and be able to confirm this with the documentary evidence.
Review testing schedules, it is best to concentrate on routine work during an audit, especially a regulatory audit, and avoid working on more challenging activities such as investigations.
Using Orcanos eQMS system allows you to control electronically the audit readiness and allow you to stay focus on the daily tasks. Orcanos provides a set of reports you can have free access to such as:
- Audit Readiness – SOP Annual Review (Effective Date > 300 days)
- Audit Readiness – Previous Process Checks with Low Grade (1 – 3)
- Audit Readiness – Deviation Summary Reports
- Audit Readiness – Complaint Investigation Report
- Audit Templates
- Many more…
It is a good practice to have such documentation readily available on site. If necessary Orcanos eQMS system will allow recalling all such documentation electronically with no need to go onto the remote site. Orcanos system will preserve your data for at least 15 years and more so no need to archiving.
NOTE: These recommendations are also applicable for Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) required by the ISO 13485:2016 and now by the new MDR and MDSAP.