Difference Between Audit and Inspection

Audit vs Inspection
 

Audit and inspection are carried out to verify that a certain set of standards, guidelines, rules, and norms are being met. Audits are carried out in greater depth than inspections, and they usually require a longer period of time. In contrast, inspections are less formal and can be done on a weekly or monthly basis. Despite the few similarities between the two, there are a number of important factors that make them distinct. The article that follows clearly explains each term and highlights the similarities and differences between audit and inspection.

Inspection

An inspection is when a facility, building, equipment, machinery, or even a process is being closely observed with the aim of verifying that it meets a certain set of standards. Inspections are also a part of quality assurance. For example, a potential buyer may inspect a car to make sure all the features and functionalities are as promised. Quality control individuals who work in garment factories also carry out inspections of clothing items to make sure that the quality standards are consistently maintained. Inspection involves looking at the item, facility, or process closely and paying attention to the smallest details. Inspections can be done in a formal or informal manner which could include check lists with items that need to be verified or just be a general observation of the standard, efficiency and quality.

Audit

Auditing is a process that evaluates and measures performances of certain items, machinery, equipment, etc. Audits are based on a set of predetermined guidelines and standards and are more formal and planned out. The purpose of an audit is to identify whether the quality and standards of the item being inspected are matched with the guidelines, norms, procedures, code of practice, standards, and rules and regulations against with which they are checked. Audits are used on larger processes that require a more systematic evaluation of all features, functionalities, and aspects. Audits are conducted in greater depth, and may include referring to past documentation and interviews with the users or workers of the equipment, system, or process. Audits can also be seen as detective work, where auditors also frequently look for evidence that the system is in compliance with the set out standards.

What is the difference between Audit and Inspection?

Audits and inspections can be conducted on systems, processes, equipment, assets, goods, etc. The purpose of an inspection or audit is to make sure that the system or the item meets a certain set of standards, norms, code of practice, rules and regulations, etc. Despite their similarities, there are a number of differences between the two. An inspection involves observing the details of the process, product, or system and can be done in a formal or informal manner. An audit is much more structured and planned out than an inspection and involves in depth analysis of the various features, functionalities, and processes. Audits will involve checking the system against a set of predetermined standards and guidelines. Further to this, time that is spent on an audit is much longer than the time spent on an inspection. Audits are usually carried out once a year, whereas inspections are done frequently than that and could be weekly or monthly.

Summary:

Audit vs Inspection

• An inspection is when a facility, building, equipment, machinery, or even a process is being closely observed with the aim of verifying that it meets a certain set of standards.

• Audits are based on a set of predetermined guidelines and standards and are more formal and planned out.

• Audits are usually carried out once a year, whereas inspections are done frequently than that and could be weekly or monthly.