Every business or company involved in providing products or services know the importance of maintaining the quality. The Audits where the quality of a business is measured also help in determining and analyzing the quality of the services of a brand or company.
However, one may face several issues in the audits as well as the ability to maintain the quality of their products and services. In this blog, we will tell you what you should be doing and how you should be tackling the incurring issues during a business quality audit.
The certification marks presently in India are Agmark for all agricultural products, BIS hallmark (BIS hallmark) certifies the purity of gold jewellery and Ecomark for various products issued by the Bureau of Indian Standards. In other countries such as the UK, Specialist Quality Mark (SQM) audits are been commenced by the SQM Delivery Partnership since the year 2010.
It is valuable to notice this piece of information especially if the organizations or business are in partnership with Global companies. There are several firms that can help you with SQM Consultancy especially on legal matters if you are a law firm.
There are a number of key factors that need special attention while preparing for a Quality audit. These factors often get the organization caught and lead to a situation where companies unsuccessful in passing for an SQM audit.
1) File Reviews
While an organization is conducting a file review, it is essential that it makes sure the accurate number of reviews are being carried out in the procedure. The accuracy of this process is dependent on:
- The level of experience an individual conducting the review has.
- And lastly, what all is documented in the organization’s office manual.
There are various guidelines that are provided to have an accurate number of reviews conducted. The following guidelines are a part of the standard guidance provided for the number of file reviews:
The above-mentioned guidelines are for most of the organisations. For those companies that commence legal aid cannot opt to audit fewer than the minimum number of files that are required. This is irrespective of the file review findings which is 1 per supervisor per month and 2 per month for non-supervisors.
Amongst all, at least percent of the file reviews per quarter must be face to face. Apart from all this, it is essential that you make sure that all these procedures are correctly documented in the office manual. Also, make sure that you obey these procedures as well.
If the required minimum level is for your organisation to conduct at least one file review per month, you need to set the procedures accordingly to replicate it. If at any point, the organisation manages to conduct higher numbers of reviews than expected, then it is considered to be an added bonus.
Most organisations hurry to complete the necessary number of file reviews on/before time. They often forget to make sure that they are accurately following up the required actions and all this within a practical period of time.
This is basically an important part of the file review process. Because of this reason, it is essential to have a robust system for monitoring that these accurate activities are carried out by the file reviewer and are completed by the fee earner.
It is essential that the organisation monitors both the positive and the negative trends. It is often considered as a good practice to document the results of these monitoring.
This is to be on the safer side when an auditor wants to see the evidences that corrective measures are been taken when negative trends are observed so that the performances improvises.
The most suitable definition for complaint with respect to organisations is, “any expression that indicates client dissatisfaction, no matter how it is expressed.” Thus, it is necessary that the word complaint is incorporated by the client to make it one. One of the best ways to monitor the complaints is by keeping a central complaints record.
This will help you to make sure that all the complaints that are made by the client are handled immediately. Moreover, it will help you keep all the information that will be necessary for the annual review kept at one place. Other idea can be, you can hire a complete different ‘alternative complaints handling partner/director’, in case any complaint relates to that partner/director.
3) Training Requirements for all Fee Earners
As an essential part of the process, it is important for you to remember that there are requirements for training sessions. These sessions should be of six hours per year for all the caseworkers and not for those who have a legal qualification.
For those organisations that commence criminal legal aid work, are required to be able to show that 100 per cent of all the qualifying training is under the relevant category of law. Whereas, in other areas of law, the criteria fall to 50 per cent of all the qualifying training.
4) Training Records and Individual Training and Development Plans
One of the most important requirement that is always missed, is the training records which are essential for all the employees and not just for the fee earners. Therefore, as per the requirement during the audit, a support staff training record must be made obtainable for conducting the inspection.
Moreover, in addition to the training records for the Quality Audit or SQM, an individual must have the required training and a development plan ready. The plan should have detailed information about what kind of training should be made available for everyone in the coming years.
Along with this, the most important thing is why the above training is essential for the individual and the complete purpose of the training. Thus, ensuring that the plans are as personalised will assist with this.
This plan should be a documented plan that is revised throughout the year as per its requirement and whenever necessary.