Term of Award


Degree Name

Master of Technology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Industrial Technology

Committee Chair

Keith Hickman

Committee Member 1

David A. Williams

Committee Member 2

Charles H. Perry


The Quality System Audit is a management tool used to identify and document perceived weaknesses in a company's quality system. It involves assessing a company's compliance to an accepted quality standard, such as the International Organization of Standard's (ISO) ISO 9000 Series of Quality Standards. Quality systems were traditionally verified through second party audits - customers inspecting and verifying the quality control systems and processes of their suppliers. The purpose of second party audits is to assure the customer that suppliers are improving the quality of their products, materials, and/or services. As a result of the second party audit, suppliers face as many as twenty, thirty, sometimes forty, quality audits in a single year (Sanders, 1993).

The proliferation of second party audits (customers auditing their suppliers) give way to third party assessments or audits. This type of audit is carried out by an accredited third party, often a registrar body, which provides objective evidence and a seal of approval that a company's quality system meets published quality standards. In the context of this study, audit approval results in registration to the ISO 9000 Series of Quality System Standards (Sanders, 1993). Under ISO 9000, the second party audit is antiquated. An outside party or third party registrar, audits the supplier's quality system, much like a accounting agency auditing a business' financial and accounting systems.

In order for a successful audit, employees must be trained in the different areas related to ISO and the scheme of quality audits. Too often, companies establish a quality system without providing the necessary personnel. Appropriate personnel must be provided to carry out policies dealing with quality (Sanders, 1993). The subject of employee qualifications dealing with quality system audits is one that has, until recently, not been subject to any degree of uniform review (Mills, 1993). Badiru (1995) stated that it is a contention among employers to entice highly qualified technical personnel from one another. Some recruiters have been known to resort to unethical means in the attempt to lure prospective employees. Perhaps potential employees could be recruited from colleges and universities. Employees which possess knowledge of Quality System Audits would be essential to meet the demand.


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