Over the years I've found most 5S Audit forms require the auditor to score the measure between a 1 and a 5. One is poor and 5 is outstanding. The problem with this method is is allows for some subjectivity and ambiguity to creep into the score which makes it therefore difficult to Standardize.


Another option I a comrade of mine has used in the past is to set up each measure as a simple YES or NO.


For example, here is a measure off one of his audit forms:


All tools are in their designated places on the shadowboards.(Even one tool missing or out of place = No)

What do you think of this method versus the more familiar 1 - 5 scoring system? Is a YES/NO too vague? Will it prompt the desired action?


What have you seen work and not work?


Please share your ideas with our 5S Best Practices forum members.


Thank you,


David Visco

5S Best Practices

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The audits we use at our site are on a 1-5 scale and although it can allow for some subjectivity it allows for some flexibility rather than a straight pass/fail system. For instance, if a tool is not where it should be, you say it would be a "no", however, the tool may be in use or the team is working on the set in order phase of 5S. The 1-5 system allows me to show a team or area its progression with each audit. To help with the subjectivity it is useful to be consistent with the auditing and if you have more than one auditor it helps to make sure the auditors regularly align or at least discuss before a final score is given.

Hi Philip,

Sorry for the late reply, I was away for a bit. Great point regarding the need to align various auditors. I think this is not the standard but should be. 

Also, I'm curious, do your auditors walk with the people that work in the area or do they audit on their own and then just post their results? 

Thanks again

David Visco

5S Best Practices

We always try and walk with the people in that area to give real time coaching and feedback and they have the ability to ask questions. When that's not possible we send copies of the completed audit to the facilitator of that project.

We use the scoring system of YES/NO or 1/0.  Its all or nothing for the areas being audited. Initially we thought about using a scaling system of 1-5 but thought it would be too subjective. When we audit a building we have the production manager involved.  This way they get to see first hand what their plant looks like. We focus our audit to tool boards, flat surfaces, general floors, and primary/secondary containers. The production manager then shares the information (findings) with their building.

Hi Timothy,

Thanks for input. 

How often does each area get audited? Also, is there a standard method to follow up on specific non-conformance's that surfaced during the past audit?

Thanks again

David Visco

5S Best Practices 

What I have used is really a combination of the two.  For each S, there are despcriptions for 1 through 5.  That allows me to walk the people through it.  Their score is the highest level that they meet for each S.  Then the overall score is equal to the lowest scoring "S".

Example...for Sort

1 = Necessary and unnecessary items intermixed throughout the area.

2 = Necessary and unnecessary items are separated but still present.

3 = All unnecessary items have been removed from the work area.

4 = A dependable, documented method has been established to keep the work area free of unnecessary items.

5 = Waste is immediately visible and triggers a planned response with root cause analysis and corrective action.       

Hope that helps...

Thanks for sharing Roxanne. Would you be able to share an image of the full audit document? 

David Visco

5S Best Practices

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