It is important to validate all processes and controls to ensure that they are fit for purpose and in full operation.

As an example IATF 16949 requires us to conduct Internal Audits at system, Manufacturing process and Product levels covered in the following clauses:-.

  • Quality System Audits
  • Manufacturing Process Audits
  • Product Audits.

In addition IATF Annex B: Bibliography – supplemental automotive then breaks the audit process down into different approaches including Layered Process Audits.

Layered Process Audits (LPA)

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

A well deployed LPA system drives a culture of accountability, process control and continuous improvement. The result can be this minimises effort and tighter alignment towards organisational goals, these can be the key success in the highly competitive automotive market.

Layered process audits program includes critical things:

  • Top management support:- a single individual from top management should be assigned overall responsibility for the Layered Process Audits.
  • Communication of the value to employees:- auditors  are pulled from across the organization, including all levels of management
  • Impactful Audits;- a set of simple audits, which do not require specialized knowledge to conduct, and have focus on high-risk processes.
  • A system of reporting:- follow-up that exposes problem areas and ensures containment and corrections are put – and held – in place

How Will LPA Benefit the Organisation

When applied effectively LPA audit can provided benefits including some of the following:-

  • Reduce Waste
  • Improve cash flow
  • Improve product quality and customer satisfaction
  • Increase right first time
  • Reduce quality incidents (scrap, rework)
  • Increase the interaction between managers and the operators
  • Reduce the overall cost of poor quality

Metrics for LPA Effectiveness

LPA audits are more effective when there output is monitored and when non conformance’s are detected the corrective actions are effectively implemented. This will help establish ownership and accountability for all those assigned to conduct the audits.

Metrics Measures
Percent of Audit completed on time Implementation of the program and assigned LPA priority
Percentage of Conformity Percent of times checked which were observed to be conforming with the defined standard
Corrective Actions Completed On time completion of all corrective actions
Repeat Non Conformance’s The effectiveness of corrective actions taken


Industry Forum can support in training and developing Layered Process Audits for your business.

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