This summary document has been prepared to provide members with an overview of the audit process provided by DSA-QAG. The document will detail the actions which precede the date of the audit and the actions which are required by all parties to allow the organisation to be accredited (new organisations) or re-accredited (existing organisations). The document will refer to DSA QAG members as the organisation, DSA QAG as DSA QAG and BDO as the auditors.

Pre Audit Process

The audit process will follow an annual cycle of audits; all organisations will receive an audit once every 12 months. The audit process will commence with a call to the organisation to provide as a minimum 6-8 weeks’ notice prior to the actual date of the audit. Once the date has been agreed DSA-QAG will issue a confirmation email to request:

  • Information relevant to the audit, including selected business processes, procedures and policies. These are uploaded by the organisation to the online system.
  • Dates on which the information should be returned to DSA-QAG
  • Return of a staff list to allow booking of selected staff interviews – this will be requested 8 weeks prior to audit and will be submitted online by the organisation.
  • Where required automatic reminders will be sent out to ATS providers to advise return of documentation by specific timeframes.

The confirmation of audit booking issued by the system also provides the organisation with a scope of audit which outlines what will take place during the audit, and confirmation of the auditor who will conduct the audit.

Documents Returned

The first document to be returned (2 working days from the audit confirmation email receipt) will be the organisations staff list. This will allow DSA QAG to select and make the relevant bookings for staff to be interviewed while the auditor is onsite. To complete this process, on receipt of the staff list, DSA- QAG will liaise with the nominated audit contact to arrange the interview bookings.

Prior to the onsite interview taking place all staff selected will be required to complete a pre – audit questionnaire to minimise the time taken for interview while the auditor is onsite. The pre – audit questionnaire will be issued to the ATS provider manager by e-mail with the confirmation of interviews and within the body of the e-mail, URL links for each staff member that will require the manager to forward on to the relevant person. The staff member will complete the questionnaire online via the DSA-QAG portal.

DSA QAG will check the pre audit information from the organisation after the return deadline date has passed (within 24 hours), reminder e-mails will be sent via the portal to chase any documentation which has not been returned. Once all information has been returned (including processes and policies) DSA-QAG will advise the auditor via the DSA-QAG portal that the documentation has been uploaded, this will enable the auditor access to the pre audit documentation to carry out pre-audit checks and when reviewing the information supplied can prepare for the audit prior to it taking place.

During Audit

As mentioned above the organisation will receive a scope of audit in the confirmation email issued by DSA-QAG. The onsite visit will be scheduled over a 2 - 4 day period; the auditor will aim to arrive at 9.00 am or at the agreed time if scheduled at a different time on the first day and conclude at 17:00 on the final day.

During the initial onsite visit meeting, the auditor will outline a schedule covering the times they require for meeting staff to run over the organisations processes and to check on historical data which has been provided to DSA-QAG in the form of KPI statistics via the online KPI system for the previous 12 month period.

Once the auditor has completed their findings for each day of the audit, they will arrange a catch up meeting with the nominated person acting on behalf of the organisation.

On the final day of the audit, an audit summary meeting will take place to allow the auditor to produce their findings from the completed audit. The auditor will discuss the findings with the audit contact and provide a summary report which will be signed by the audit contact. The auditor will advise on the next stage of the audit process whereby an action plan will be issued to the organisation allowing them to address any areas of improvement or non-conformances.

Post Action Plan Process

DSA QAG will review all audit documentation submitted by the auditor and issue an action plan to the organisation confirming what was concluded in the audit summary report issued by the auditor on site. Actin plan will be issued within 7 working days after the final day of the completed audit. The organisation will be required to address the areas identified in the action plan and return this to DSA-QAG within 10 working days via the DSA-QAG Portal.


Once the organisation has completed the action plan in full, a notification email will be issued via the system to confirm accreditation or re-accreditation. This will be followed up with the issue of an accreditation/re-accreditation certificate within 2 days of notice of accreditation.

Note: Where there are points outstanding or not fully addressed by the organisation, a follow up action plan will be issued by DSA QAG with a 5 working day period to respond.