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Archived - Audit of the Quality Management System (QMS)

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) internal audit function provides the President, senior officials and agency managers with an independent capability to perform audits of the resources, systems, processes, structures and operational tasks of the CFIA. It helps the CFIA accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to assessing and improving the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes.

The internal audit function is accountable to the CFIA's Audit Committee, of which the President is a member. All internal audit findings and recommendations must be reported to the Audit Committee, and all audits must be carried out in accordance with federal policy and legislative requirements, including the 2012 Policy on Internal Audit and the 2006 Federal Accountability Act.

CFIA internal audit projects are selected based on highest significance during an annual agency planning process, which are then reflected in the Agency's Audit Plan for review by Audit Committee and approval of the President.


An internal audit of the Quality Management System (QMS) was conducted in order to assess the adequacy of the QMS framework, practices and controls. The audit's scope included both the design and the operation of the QMS, including activities in all branches in National Headquarters and the four Areas.

QMS is being re-designed to contribute to the implementation of the modernized food inspection system by supporting a philosophy of continuous improvement through measurement of outcomes and analysis of data to find and implement potential improvements to the system.

Key Finding

The QMS needs to be applied with rigour and discipline in order to realize its objectives of improving consistency and quality of the regulatory activities being delivered.

The audit found that the Agency needs to improve the QMS governing framework, senior management oversight, and performance reporting in order to fully meet the expectations of the Operations Branch.

The QMS framework needs to be strengthened through an update and finalization of documented procedures—most importantly, the assignment of responsibility and accountability for the management and resolution of systemic national quality loss issues.

The conclusions and the three (3) recommendations of the audit were accepted by management and action has already been taken to respond to the recommendations.

Complete report

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