Exploring variability among quality management system auditors when rating the severity of audit findings at a nuclear power plant

23 Oct 2017

A reliable quality assurance (QA) function in the nuclear environment is underpinned by the effective identification of risk, and by effective decision-making processes in relation to the risk identified. The need for competent auditors who are able to remain objective and independent at all times forms a critical component of this process. This exploratory study sought to determine reasons for the noted inconsistency among auditors when rating the severity of audit findings, and to provide recommendations to reduce this variability. The Delphi technique, a structured process to gather information from a panel of experts, was adopted to enable multiple iterations of qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis, in an attempt to mimic the elements of a sequential exploratory strategy related to a mixed method methodology.