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Case Study: Supply Chain Audit

On behalf of our clients The QSS Group undertake a range of technical, specific investigation, and safety compliance audits, and for several of our principal clients to support their Supply Chain Audit Programme, where particular focus is required around industry standards relating to the supply of safety critical engineering products and services.   

Annually, this client has required support in undertaking audits of several of their key suppliers.

Often, as in this case, needs were becoming urgent requiring timely response, planning and efficient communication.   Most significantly, this audit needed to consider recognised railway standards, essentially around the design, modification and maintenance of safety critical components and equipment for a specific class of rail vehicles operated by the client.


The client provided an outline scope regarding their supplier’s safety critical supply, as well as any specific areas of concern, which sometimes can also relate to known National Incident Reports.


With a wealth of railway experience, The QSS Group developed a bespoke audit protocol that fully considered industry safety critical requirements and best practice. The audit structure considered management system compliance and process controls, particularly relating to the scope of supply. 

Other key requirements included a robust assessment of design and engineering change, training and competence, and the supplier’s management of associated sub-contractors. Operational safety and environmental aspects were also assessed.


The benefits of engaging a knowledgeable and experienced auditor ensured that the audit was thorough and undertaken with a value added and structured approach. Findings were communicated during, and as part of a formal audit closing meeting. A clear, comprehensive, and well-structured report was then provided to the client, identifying non-conformance, observations, and opportunities for improvement.

The depth and rigour of assessment was well received by the client, supporting their demonstration of compliance to safety, and other industry safety critical assessment schemes

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