Roughton believes that it is important that the objectives of any technical audit are clearly defined by a set of criteria. These might be one or more of the following:-
The basic objective of a technical audit is to review conformance with published procedures, standards or specifications. It provides a measure of the efficiency of the application of the systems. The scope of such audits is normally limited to defining areas where actions do not match criteria laid down in procedures. Appropriate corrective action can then be determined and agreed.
If an audit is being carried out on a more mature project the objectives may include improvement. This assumes that the auditing consultant has not only auditing skills and experience, but also an in-depth understanding of the technical issues involved.
There is great scope for auditing consultants to add value to the project for the client by the use of 'areas for improvement' reporting as opposed to non-conformance reporting. This type of approach enables Roughton to present findings that will be of benefit to the client and to push the 'improvement' process forward.