This month’s featured auditor is Christine Tobey, Quality Execution Auditor at Leprino Foods Company.
What does a typical day look like for you?
- Manage a contract second-party audit firm. They conduct international supplier audits.
- Coordinate customer audit scope, manuals, training, scheduling, corrective/preventive actions for nine US manufacturing sites.
- Trend deviations and manage corrective/preventive actions for regulatory inspections.
- Train and coordinate training for SQF Practitioners.
- Manage deadlines for responses to customer, regulatory, and certification audit nonconformities.
- Serve primarily as an auditee in my current role. Also focus on helping my team prepare for customer and certification audits.
How did you get into auditing?
I began my auditing career as a quality control manager (auditor and auditee) for a number of different manufacturing sites. I conducted internal audits, supplier audits, retail and food service outlet audits and warehouse audits.
What is your history in the profession?
After many years as a local quality control manager, I joined the corporate team to conduct multi-site inspections. With hands-on and formal technical training, I was able to further develop my auditing skills. I was also able to use these skills to train other manufacturing auditees how to understand auditors, audit scopes, prepare for audits, etc.
Why did you want to become an auditor?
Auditing was originally part of my job description as a site quality control manager. Although I do not audit as much at this point in my career, I enjoy sharing my auditor training and insights.
What are some highlights of your career?
Working on the corporate acquisition team and being able to meet and train people from all over the country.
What do you like the most about being an auditor?
Interacting with the auditee’s team, including front-line employees.
What is the most challenging part of being an auditor?
- In my previous work history, I was a full-time contract auditor for five years. It was challenging to manage life/work balance and burnout from constant traveling.
Do you have any tips for auditors to improve the standard of their auditing?
- Routinely schedule meetings with a mentor to discuss your audit skills and share and discuss tips to balance life and work.
- Develop a plan to remain current with regulations, trends, etc.
- Schedule time to read, learn, exercise and rest.
- Keep in mind that you can learn something from every auditee—be hungry to learn.
- Listen, actively
- Tip: I always ask my auditee’s to teach me about them and what they do so that I can represent them correctly in their audit report.
What will auditors be focusing on in 10 years?
The impact of FSMA, foreign supplier audits, and food fraud/vulnerability. International audits.