The Q in Quality stands for Questioning. As a good auditor, not only should you be asking the appropriate questions, you need to also have the right technique in asking questions.
These are my 10 tips below….
- Be clear why you are asking the question; what is it you are hoping to achieve?
- Be prepared to explain why you are asking that question
- Be prepared to rephrase or expand a question if the initial answer you receive is not what you want
- Consider who you are speaking to and modify your vocabulary and tone of voice appropriately
- Use open questions (Kipling’s six serving men – What, Why, When, How, Where and Who – and show me) to probe and establish facts
- Avoid asking leading questions, e.g. ‘surely you do not do that…do you?’, or end up answering your own question!
- Closed questions are useful for verifying e.g. ‘So you completed the URS before starting the DQ?’
- Ensure the auditee understands the question. Look out for blank or confused faces!
- Ask the same question, or similar, to different people to check for consistency in response
- And remember the power of silence.
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Written by: Sanjay Nadarajah, GMP/GDP Consultant