LPA audit – What are benefits for plant management?

Layered Process Audits performing is an important element of the organization’s functioning maturity. In addition, it brings many benefits to the management, giving opportunity for better understanding the company production processes.

Below are the main arguments confirming the legitimacy of LPA audit implementation and conducting them by Level 2 and 3, i.e. management. Unlike Level 1, which is performed once per shift, it is performed less frequently. Usually once a week.

Check if there are taken lessons learned from previous LPA audit

Thanks to this verification, the management can easily intervene and check what is causing the delay in the implementation of activities. The director or manager is able to escalate a given topic faster at daily meetings or meetings with management.

Problems reccurence

This may mean that we are dealing with a system problem. It’s critical because internally it causes increased production facility operating costs. Externally, the likely scenario is escalation from our client.

Showing the leader what the expected level of knowledge

We are talking here about the issues of their competencies that are required for their job by properly managing a given line of the production process.

Checking that production is under control

Thanks to this activity, when a manager, or plant director will be present on production line, he/she can check it by asking the leader.

Two examples are below:

– How do we manage identified non-conformities?

– Are there any topics that require escalation?

Collecting opinions on a given area

Thanks to this, we immediately define the knowledge related to where we are conducting an LPA audit at a given moment. If it turns out that we have different production areas in the plant (e.g. fuel and high pressure lines), we check whether the things that function in one area also functioning properly in the anther.

Finally, it can be used to improve organizational work by comparing LPA’s in these two areas.

Leaders recognition for properly performed work

If we see that everything is fine on the audited line, let’s share such a positive opinion with the leader. This will let them know that their work is appreciated by us.

Comparing production lines/shifts in terms of results from LPA audit

Thanks to such activity, we gain more experience as LPA auditors. We can see where we have best practices and then implement them in other production areas.

LPA audit

Failures elimination

Properly conducted LPA, identifying non-conformities and their appropriate management affects all aspects of the company, ranging from health and safety, eco, quality, OEE and issues related to the reduction of energy consumption.

Fresh-eye view

If we conduct such an audit once a week and then we deal with different areas, then we will most likely not be in the same work station for several weeks. Considering the fact that a given leader works in one shift, it will take another few weeks before the “loop” of assigned LPA audits reaches us again. Thanks to this, we will have “fresh eye view” at the subject that we will be verifying. In addition, we will have more knowledge gained from conducting audits in other areas.

Activities, standards and changes effectiveness verification

The best recommendation is to carry it out by checking whether such action has been implemented. During LPA audit, we may ask, for example:

– please provide documentation that has been updated here

– show me the lay-out which was added here on the work station.

This is a so-called cross-check. Thanks to this, we not only carry out LPA, but also check whether what was planned as an action has been physically implemented.

Is LPA audit understood by everyone in the plant

Here we must answer the question: do we know what the purpose is and what are the benefits for all of us? How can we contribute to increased awareness of operators and leaders? Thanks to this, everyone in the plant will be in a “win-win” position, because they will know that it is not just something that is “art for art'”, but brings measurable value in the company.


Thanks to calibration, we can get to know leaders and operators better. We have the opportunity to exchange views, gain knowledge and learn from them. Ultimately, this gives the opportunity to better manage the production line. This skill also increases the competence of the person conducting LPA audits.

Partnership approach

Eliminates the distance. We should remember to have respect for each otherl. It’s simply about improving our communication throughout the LPA audits.

Production point of view getting to know

We have our own optics, but production has a different baggage of experience, different realities and working criteria. Sometimes what seems very transparent to us has many shades of gray from a production point of view. For example, it may turn out that the leader is constantly under pressure from his superior that the production line has to “carry on”, cannot be stopped, and thus we do not report problems that do not concern our area. At this point, the LPA can be used as a tool to diagnose these types of scenarios.

“You are our eyes and ears” approach

People from offices, i.e. managers and directors, are not on the production line all the time. It is known that leaders and production operators have the greatest experience in this area. They know exactly whether a machine, when its working sound changes, can lead to a breakdown and we will downtime for a longer period of time.

Why? Because someone made a “run to failure” decision, which is to keep working until it breaks. This strategy is used in exceptional situations. Mostly when increasing efficiency. It is very important to be aware that we will not be on production as often as people who are there all the time and we will not have all the information. That is why Production employees are “our eyes and ears”.

Answer to the question: where You need help?

Let’s try to be a helping hand for the leader and simply support him in his daily work. The worst thing that can happen is to leave him alone. I’m not saying we have to control them all the time. We’re all adults. It is known, however, that the leader himself sometimes will not “skip over” certain things when it comes to reporting topics with which he has a permanent problem.

LPA audit – summary

As you can see, there are a lot of benefits that we can draw by conducting LPA audits on the production line in the plant. The management should be aware of this. In the end, we’ll all win.

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Document name: Layered Process Audit – Excel form

Dariusz Kowalczyk

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