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1.1 Analyse the principles of quality management

Unit 23: Prepare for and Support Quality Audits

Unit reference number: K/506/1992 QCF level: 4

Credit value: 3

Guided learning hours: 17

Unit type: Competence

Unit summary: Unit 23: Prepare for and Support Quality Audits

In this unit you will learn how to prepare for and support quality audits. In order to do this you will understand the principles underpinning the management of quality in an organisation and how this contributes to meeting organisational objectives. By examining the advantages and limitations of using different quality techniques you will understand the importance of promoting a quality culture and how customer satisfaction drives continuous improvement to meet standards.

This unit will introduce you to the concept of ‘Total Quality Management (TQM)’ and how this approach depends on the need to embed a quality culture in an organisation. This is important as business success is very dependent upon customer satisfaction and as technology and communications become more powerful, standards are more easily comparable.

You will prepare relevant documentation for work to be audited, identify where improvements could be made to processes, procedures, or standards, and develop a quality improvement plan to address any issues.

Learning outcomes and assessment criteria

To pass this unit, the learner needs to demonstrate that they can meet all the learning outcomes for the unit. The assessment criteria outline the requirements the learner is expected to meet to achieve the unit.

Unit 23: Prepare for and Support Quality Audits

Learning outcomes

Assessment criteria


Understand the principles underpinning the management of quality

1.1 Analyse the principles of quality management

1.2 Analyse the purpose and requirements of a range of quality standards

1.3 Analyse the advantages and limitations of a range of quality techniques

1.4 Assess how the management of quality contributes to the achievement of organisational objectives


Be able to prepare for quality audits

2.1 Establish the quality requirements applicable to the work being audited

2.2 Confirm that documentation is complete

2.3 Confirm that any previously agreed actions have been implemented

2.4 Make available information requested in advance by auditors


Be able to support quality audits

3.1 Provide access to information on request within scope of the audit

3.2 Agree actions and timescales with auditors that will remedy non- conformance or non-compliance

3.3 Identify instances where business processes, quality standards and/or procedures could be improved

3.4 Develop a quality improvement plan that addresses the issues raised

Unit amplification

AC1.1: Analyse the principles of quality management
  • Quality management Theories: e.g. W Edwards Deming - PDCA Cycle; Joseph M Juran - quality trilogy; Kaoru Ishikawa – total quality viewpoint, 7 basic tools of quality; Philip B Crosby – 14 steps to quality improvements, Zero Defects, Quality is Free; A V Feigenbaum – total quality control
  • Quality management terminology: e.g. fitness for purpose, Total Quality Management (TQM), Quality Assurance (QA), continuous improvement (Kaizen), quality indicators, quality measures (financial measures, customer-based measures)
  • IS09001 8 Principles of quality management: customer focus, leadership, involvement of people, process approach, system approach to management, continual improvement, factual approach to decision- making, mutually beneficial supplier relationship
  • Quality standards: e.g. International Standards ISO9000 series, British Standards Institute (BSI) BS5750, Investors in People, CE marking, Royal warrants
  • Analysis to include: purpose, requirements, application and benefits in business operations
  • Quality techniques: e.g. Six Sigma, TQM, Quality Circles, statistical process control, benchmarking
  • Contribution to achievement of organisational objectives: by promoting a quality culture, e.g. self-managed teams and quality circles, ‘interlocking teams’; product innovation and quality; improved customer relationship; partnerships with suppliers; external auditing
  • Management of quality: leadership and commitment; action planning on areas for improvement; setting clear organisational objectives; empowering, mentoring, counselling; delegating; responding to feedback
AC1.2: Analyse the purpose and requirements of a range of quality standards
AC1.3: Analyse the advantages and limitations of a range of quality techniques
AC1.4: Assess how the management of quality contributes to the achievement of organisational objectives

Information for tutors

Suggested resources

Bicheno, J., Holweg, M. – The Lean Toolbox: The Essential Guide to Lean Transformation (4th edition) (Picsie Books, 2008) ISBN 9780954124458

Hoyle, D. – ISO 9000 Quality Systems Handbook (Butterworth-Heinemann, 2009) ISBN 9781856176842

Webber, L., Wallace, M. – Quality Control for Dummies (John Wiley & Sons, 2007) ISBN 9780470069097

Slack, N. et al – Operations Management (7th edition) (Pearson, 2013) ISBN 9780273776208


www.efqm.org – the European Foundation for Quality Management website which promotes the Excellence Model through forums, training, events and information


This unit is internally assessed. To pass this unit the evidence that the learner presents for assessment must demonstrate that they have met the required standard specified in the learning outcomes and assessment criteria and the requirements of the Assessment Strategy.

To ensure that the assessment tasks and activities enable learners to produce valid, sufficient, authentic and appropriate evidence that meets the assessment criteria, centres should apply the Unit Assessment guidance and the requirements of the Assessment Strategy below.

Wherever possible, centres should adopt a holistic approach to assessing the units in the qualification. This gives the assessment process greater rigour and minimises repetition, time and the burden of assessment on all parties involved in the process.

Unit assessment requirements

This unit must be assessed in the workplace in accordance with the Skills CFA Assessment Strategy for Business Administration, Customer Service and Management and Leadership, in Annexe A. Simulation is not allowed for this unit.

All evidence of occupational competence should be generated through performance under workplace conditions; this includes evidence of achievement for knowledge- based learning outcomes and associated assessment criteria

Unit assessment guidance

This guidance supports assessors in making decisions about how best to assess each unit and the evidence needed to meet the assessment requirements of the unit. Centres can adapt the guidance for learners and the particular assessment context, as appropriate.

Evidence to achieve this unit must come from the learner’s work activities when preparing for and supporting quality audits.

Evidence to demonstrate learning outcomes 2 and 3 is likely to come from a combination of reviewing the learner’s work products, witness testimony and professional discussion or reflective account. The learner’s work products could include the completed audit documentation and any evidence of actions used to confirm document completion and action implementation (AC2.2 and AC2.3). Work products could also include meeting minutes or audit reports detailing what actions and timescales have been agreed and the improvement plan developed to address quality issues (AC3.2 and AC3.4). The assessor should review the work products and use them to support the professional discussion to evidence the knowledge and understanding underpinning the learner’s performance. Within the professional discussion, the learner could discuss the importance of ensuring that records and documentation are complete (AC2.2 and AC2.3) and the criteria and process used to identify instances where business processes, quality standards and/or procedures could be improved (AC3.3). Alternatively a reflective account could be used in a similar manner to assess the underpinning knowledge and understanding. Witness testimony from colleagues and the line manager should also be used to confirm that the learner has consistently met the requirements over a period of time well as to provide supporting evidence for assessment criteria such as AC2.4, AC3.1 and AC3.2

Due to the cognitive demand of the assessment criteria in learning outcome 1, the evidence to confirm achievement would best come from a reflective account. If a reflective account is used for learning outcomes 2 and 3, it would be best to integrate the assessment of this learning outcome, giving the learner opportunity to link and apply their knowledge to workplace activities. For example the learner could analyse the purpose and requirements of a range of quality standards in the content of how they are used to establish the quality requirements for the work audited. This enables the learner to make the relationship between the requirements of the relevant quality standards and the organisational quality requirements (AC1.1 and AC2.1). The learner’s reflective account must be in sufficient depth and breadth to meet the level of demand of the operative verbs within AC1.1 to AC1.4. For example, for AC1.3, the learner needs to explain in depth a range of quality techniques, the advantages and limitations they have found with using these quality techniques and how they would use different techniques to improve on their practice in future quality audits.

Evidence of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can also be used within the unit to confirm competence. Wherever possible, the learning outcomes in this unit should be assessed holistically across the qualification.

Unit 23: Prepare for and Support Quality Audits

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