Everything You Need To Know About the 5S Audit

The 5S audit Check or 5S Organization Checklist is a bench-marking checklist that assesses how well a factory or an office is organized. It is based on the 5S principles which we will discuss shortly.

A safe and productive workplace needs structure and discipline. That is the crux of the 5S audit. It provides a framework that defines efficiency and organization for the systematic working of a workplace. The 5S audit form is the foundation of six sigma, TQM as well as LEAN management. The very fact that most audits, especially the ones based on simple checklists, depend on the auditor himself; the 5S organization checklist make the results of the audit a lot more accurate and meaningful.

Measuring the Organization level

The 5 S Principles include

1. Cleanliness,

2. Robustness of the housekeeping procedures,

3. Degree of Standardization

4. Organizational approach

5. Tagging frequency

The 5S audit form itself consists of 7 points and should not take more that 7 minutes for completion.

About the 5S way of life in the workplace

The basic principle of housekeeping and workplace organization is:”A place for everything and everything in its place”. Thus, every worker must have the same understanding regarding the 5 phases of workplace organization:

1. Sort– Sorting and removing what is unnecessary. Only things needed in the workplace are tools, parts and instructions to do the job.

2. Systemize-Creating a systematic visual scoreboard so that items are set in order and there is a place defined for everything.

3. Shine/Sanitize- Performing an initial spring cleaning like scouring, painting, washing, scrubbing etc. Cleaning helps reveal problems and also can be used as a method of inspection.

4. Standardize– Routine cleaning of this sort is incorporated as a way of life. Preventative maintenance is routinely scheduled and performed especially by people who know the work center well.

5. Sustain– The 5S’s are made routine of life and the 5S audit form is made familiar to managers as well as workers who appreciate the benefits of these methods.

Benefits of 5S

  • An important advantage of using the 5S to make the work area clean is that potential problems are easily revealed. In a disorganized and unclean workplace, one would have trouble in identifying root causes of issues like “When did the machine first fail?” or “When did the oil start to leak first?” etc.
  • Second advantage of the 5S audit form is the reduction in the amount of time wastage for looking for tools, materials and supplies etc.
  • Regular use of the auditing of this sort can help provide feedback constantly. This can help bring a higher degree of safety, efficiency and orderliness to the workplace.
  • It can help assess the organization and housekeeping levels in the workplace.

Success in using the 5S audit forms

For more reliable and meaningful results while using the 5S audit form, the test must score multiple dimensions and include the system configuration, know-how levels, observed cleanliness results, organizational system approach, as well as the frequency of tagging.

To standardize and sustain are the 2 tough S’s that are also the most important. That being said the entire 5S audit forms are particularly important to be included in every well designed lean management system.


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