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Root Cause Mastery in Audits (OFFERED VIRTUALLY)

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Date(s): Jun 09, 2020 - Jun 10, 2020
Time: 8:15AM - 12:00PM
Registration Fee: $239.00
Cancellation Date: Jun 03, 2020
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Course Description



The ability to conduct effective root cause analysis is an essential tool to have in your auditor skill set. Yet, root cause analysis methods are rarely taught to anyone but engineering or design professionals. This course is an intensive 8-hour experiential learning course.


We will teach the three most common methods of root-cause analysis used by auditors as well as break into teams and practice each method based on scenarios provided. Auditors leave this course with a practical, experiential basis to start incorporating root cause analysis into their own auditing positions.


Please note this course includes significant break-out time to practice skills learned; therefore, participants should be ready to spend less than 50% of time in content development and more than 50% of time in practice of content in team exercises to ensure effective learning and skills development.

Potential CPE Credits: 8.0
Govt Hours: This class meets 8.0 hours of the 24-hour requirement for governmental CPE under Government Auditing Standards (yellow book), in most cases.
Technical Hours: This class meets 8.0 CPE credits of technical training in compliance with Texas Admin. Code Rule 523.102.

Instruction Type: Live
Experience Level: BEGINNING
Category: 02 Auditing

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Learn about each method of root cause analysis and where and how it is typically used in an auditing scenario.

Learn how to complete root cause analysis using the three most common methods that are used in auditing.

Clarify what the problem is and is not.

Map a trail from the symptom to the root cause(s).

Generate ideas to solve the root cause problem and select the most appropriate solution using decision matrices.

Using the appropriate RCA investigative tools, identify the root cause .

Recognize common barriers to root cause analysis and apply techniques to overcome those barriers.

Determine where and how to apply root cause analysis in their own auditing positions and projects.



Introduction: Root Cause Analysis Overview

            Overview of Root Cause Analysis

            Problem Types

            Problem Definitions

Lesson 2: Finding the Root Cause

            Methods of completing root cause analysis

            Explore chains of causes, cause and effect charting

            Study interrelationships and the need for evidence

            Use data analysis & investigative tools

            Identify root causes

            CASE STUDY BREAKOUTS 1,2,3


Lesson 3: Fix the Root Cause

            Propose potential solutions

            Solution brainstorming

            Solution Qualification

            Develop Action Plan to implement solution

            Recommending effective solutions

            CASE STUDY BREAKOUT 4,5


Lesson 4: Overcoming Barriers

            Barriers to Root Causes Analysis

            Solutions to Barriers

            Building RCA into Audit Plans




No prerequisites required. This course will start with the fundamentals of root-cause analysis assuming little to no experience or training in the techniques.


Participants will need a computer or tablet with microphone, keyboard and internet connection to participate.


Elizabeth Frisch

Elizabeth Frisch, Founder and CXO of The Thrival Company is a chemical engineer with over 25 years of experience leading business performance, engineering, organizational development and auditing programs.  She has conducted audits as a Lead Auditor and Audit Manager and been a trainer of auditors and auditing teams for more than a decade.  During her career she has worked with over 50 different industries, all levels of local, state, and federal governments as well as NGOs/NPOs.  She is the published author of Mission to Million$ - Taking Big Ideas and Making Them Reality (Available on She is nationally recognized for developing a unique and trademarked approach to performance and behavior-based auditing as well as created a unique interviewing method called “The General to Specific Approach to Interviewing Effectively” which she teaches auditors during her training events.


Elizabeth has worked for an ISO9000/ISO14000/ISO18000 auditing registrar and in that capacity was responsible for auditing dozens of companies including U.S. military installations, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, power companies and research and development labs. While employed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Elizabeth developed the initial rules implementing their Clean Texas performance-based auditing program and worked extensively with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) in aligning the TCEQ program with the EPA’s auditing program. Elizabeth has also developed a culture-change approach to auditing, implementing, and training companies internal audit teams for using audits to drive business performance.  This unique training approach focuses on 1) developing an audit approach that fits how an entity conducts business and aligns with strategic goals, 2) teaching personnel how to audit in a way that changes organizational culture and engages management to support continued high performance, and 3) identifying opportunities and measuring successes of the audit in business terms. 


She is a trained facilitator and has facilitated hundreds of retreats, events, training courses and workshops and is a keynote speaker on the topics of leadership, teams, auditing, and business performance.  She frequently works as a high performance executive leadership coach and is often hired to facilitate difficult dynamics and contentious meeting situations.  Her work in the for profit, non-profit, and governmental arenas allows her to bring a broad and unique perspective on how to combine the best practices in each model of business to create organizations that deliver on their vision and mission and have fun doing it!  From the plant floor to the top floor, Elizabeth is just as comfortable in a hard hat and boots as working with boards and C-level management.  In 2014, she was a Top 3 Finalist for the Austin Chamber of Commerce Small Business Leader of the Year out of hundreds of nominations for this award.


In her philanthropic pursuits, she is a donor and Development Chair for Impact Austin which is one of the largest women’s collective giving charities in the nation. Impact Austin has funded more than $5MM of projects making a huge impact in her hometown of Austin, Texas. She also works as a Senior Trainer for A Nurtured World, a 501(c)(3) non-profit best known for its 1house at a timeTM program which was awarded best “Learning in Action” in 2010 and “Best Sustainable Future Today” by the Austin Chronicle Best of Austin Awards for renovating low income homes to be utility efficient allowing low income homeowners to keep their homes.


Elizabeth jokes she is a ‘recovering engineer’ as she holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and used these skills to become a business performance systems auditor.  Having worked in so many realms, Elizabeth brings an insightful, broad-reaching and often humorous perspective on human nature and behaviors to each group she works with.

Evaluations of Elizabeth’s training to thousands of people across the U.S. has returned a result that 99.9% of them would refer others to her training events and as a consultant for their business performance program challenges!

Additional Information

TAC Rule 523.142(g) requires the CPE Sponsor to monitor individual attendance and assign the correct number of CPE credits. Participants will be asked to document their time of arrival and departure in compliance with this Rule. Additionally, attendance will be monitored throughout the day and CPE certificates will reflect actual attendance of each participant.

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