Layered Process Audits

What Are Layered Process Audits?
Layered Process Audits (LPAs) help manufacturers and service providers take control of processes, reduce mistakes, and improve both work quality and the bottom line.

LPAs are not confined to the Quality Department but involve all employees in the auditing process. Supervisors conduct frequent process audits in their own areas, while higher-level managers conduct the same audits less frequently and over a broader range of areas. These audits also typically include integrated corrective and preventative actions taken either during or immediately after the audit.

The supervisors of the different teams are responsible for conducting periodic process audits within their functional areas while senior managers audit a broader range of areas (but less frequently). ‘Layers’ refers to the audit being conducted across various levels of the organization, spanning several departments and processes.

With LPAs, manufacturers can:

  • Assume greater control over various processes
  • Take quick corrective/preventive action at all layers
  • Reduce mistakes and nonconformances
  • Improve the overall quality of work & enhance quality performance
  • Increase revenues
  • Reduce total cost of quality

Stages of a Layered Process Audit
The LPA system is composed of 4 distinct layers: Standardization, Documentation, Data Analysis, and Feedback. Each layer has its own set of objectives and is designed to help meet the overall goals of an LPA.

  1. Standardization: This layer focuses on defining standards and procedures for the manufacturing process and establishing workplace safety protocols. 
  2. Documentation: This layer involves creating detailed documentation of each step in the LPA, including checklists and logs for tracking data. 
  3. Data Analysis: At this stage, data is collected and analyzed to identify areas where processes can be improved, or errors can be prevented. 
  4. Feedback: The LPA team provides feedback on the results of their analysis and makes recommendations for improvement.

By following these steps, LPAs help organizations to identify areas where processes can be improved, reduce risk exposure, improve product quality, enhance safety protocols and ensure compliance with regulatory standards. 

Today, LPAs are being adopted in many sectors including automotive, aerospace, medical device, pharma & biotech, chemicals, consumer packaged goods, and hi-tech.

During QSG’s LPA Workshop you will learn many organizations have implemented an effective LPA process. You will create the necessary audit checklists to support your LPA Program. 

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