To select and answer an audit question, expand the Navigation Structure and select the lowest level in the structure that represents a specific Audit Question (1).
The Audit Question consists of different areas that either a) provide information or b) request you enter data.
*Not all audits are identical and some questions may have more or less features and/or requirements.
The figure above shows a list of the most common Audit Question fields:
- The Audit Question selected in the menu (1) is described in detail (2) in the Edit Window
- Guidelines (3) as to how the auditor should determine and validate that the requirement is met
- References (4) are hyperlinks to appropriate samples, examples, training and consulting services that accompany the protocol
- Findings / Notes document the reasons for allocating a specific score (5)
- When completing the Findings / Notes it may be helpful to View Comment(s) (6) recorded during the documentation review, conducting interviews and recording of observations. Comments can be cut from the Comments Window (7) and paste directly into the Findings and Notes area where it can be edited by the auditor
- Scoring section (8) is where the auditor scores the question based on the results from documentation review, interviews and observations. The scoring options are:
O : Verification by OBSERVATION during a facility tour
D : Verification through DOCUMENTATION REVIEW
I : Verification through the INTERVIEW of employees
There are also different scoring types that may be encountered – see Question Scoring Types below
- Not Applicable (9) is an optional feature - Some questions are optional and may not be applicable. By selecting the Not Applicable option the question is removed from the total used to calculate the audit pass/fail grade. This feature is determined by the protocol and can also be applied to entire sections or in some cases only to individual verification methods.
- Marked for Follow-Up (10)– If the user wants to return to this question selecting this option will set the question status icon in the Navigation Pane to Marked for Follow-Up
- In some cases it may be helpful, when writing the final report, to identify specific strengths (11) that were identified.
- Suggestions for Improvement (12) are typically required during an audit if the question did not receive a 100% on any one of the validation methods.
- Marking the suggestion or strength as a key suggestion (13) allows it to be accessed with a single click from the Supporting Documents sections.
- In order to determine if the question meets all the rules that have been set for it, select the Validate this Question (14) button. If every requirement is met, the question status icon will change from Incomplete (!) to Complete (checkmark). NOTE: Validation is run automatically whenever you navigate from one question to another.
- The results of the Validation test are displayed in the Validation Window (15).
Question Scoring Types
The eC-AuditTool™ has the ability to handle different Question scoring types and the type will depend on the specific audit protocol that is being used. Currently, the application supports the following question scoring types (see the image below) when more than one verification method (Documentation Review, Interview and Observation) is required:
(A) AND – The score of the individual verification mechanisms are added
(B) OR – The auditor has the ability to select a validation method and uses the radio buttons on the side to select the preferred method
(C) AVERAGE - the system averages the results from multiple validation methods and the auditor then scores the question based on the average validation result
Completing Audit Questions
The eC-AuditTool™ is rich in functionality and is used to audit against various audit protocols. Not all audits and protocols make use of all the functionality of the eC-AuditTool™.
To complete a specific Audit Question:
- Expand the Navigation Structure until the question is visible and select the Audit Question (1) in the structure. This will display the question into the Edit Window on the right side of the application screen
- Based on the Question / Guidelines related to the question, the user can review the verification Results (2) and select an appropriate score (3) for the question
- In order to determine if the question has been answered to the specifications of the protocol, select the Validate this Question button (4)
The Validate this Question button will determine if the criteria that have been set for the audit have been met. The result of this validation is listed in the Validation Window - see (1) below.
From the example above it is clear that this audit does not allow:
- Findings/Notes field (2) to be blank
This result is also indicated in the Navigation Structure by setting the specific question’s status icon to Incomplete (!) – see (3).
Note: If the lower levels of the Navigation Structure (like the question above) are Incomplete, then this incomplete status is inherited by all the higher levels of the structure. In the example above, the question’s incomplete status is inherited all the way to the Audit Results element.
If all the validation criteria of a specific question are met, as can be seen below (1), then when the Validate this Question (2) button is selected it will show a positive validation response in the Validation Window (3). Also note that the element status has now been changed from Incomplete to Complete (checkmark) as shown in (4) below.
Sometimes you may want to mark a specific question for follow-up, even though it does meet all the validation criteria; if so, select the Mark for follow-up checkbox in the upper right corner of the question Edit Window as shown in (1) below.
Note: the element status icon changes to Mark for follow-up as shown in (2) below.
When all the questions in a specific section have been answered and they meet the validation requirements, then all the status icons on those Audit Questions will show a status of Complete (checkmark) see (1) below.
When all the questions are complete, the Complete status is also inherited by the level above the question as shown in (2) and (3).