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"It depends on the Auditor" Is excessive variation jeopardizing system certification?
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"It depends on the Auditor" Is excessive variation jeopardizing system certification?
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View Poll Results: Do we have excessive variation of interpretation among management system auditors?
No, we don't see variation between different auditors 0 0%
We see some variation, but it is manageable 18 52.94%
We see variation and it hurts our system 7 20.59%
We see excessive variation between different auditors 9 26.47%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this Poll because you are not Logged In.


Some Related Topic Tags
auditor performance, auditors (general topics)
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  Post Number #1  
Old 20th May 2018, 09:13 AM
Dan M's Avatar
Dan M

 
 
Total Posts: 79
Question "It depends on the Auditor" Is excessive variation jeopardizing system certification?

It depends on the auditor. Our first auditor 6 years ago said we had to do gage studies on the gages listed within our lab
Scope, but did not care about the gages listed in the production control plan.

Our new auditor this year wrote a minor nonconformance because MSA studies were Not completed for gages listed on the control plan

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  Post Number #2  
Old 20th May 2018, 12:26 PM
Sidney Vianna's Avatar
Sidney Vianna

 
 
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Re: "It depends on the Auditor" Is excessive variation jeopardizing system certificat

I copied Dan M's post from another thread to start this discussion. While we all know that some variation will always exist among auditors of management systems, do we have too much variation? Is the range of interpretations compromising the intent of standardization? Are the conformity assessment sector not doing enough to reduce variation among professionals?

Dan M's initial sentence "It depends on the auditor" is quite a serious indictment of the auditing organizations, isn't it? To operate under a process whereby your system is good or bad depending on the external auditor du jour is not healthy.

I had approached some people in the ISO CASCO group with some suggestions on how to attempt to minimize variation in the management system assessment sector. Got zero response. I wonder if they care, sometimes. Despite the fact that management systems will always vary due to context (internal and external), I personally believe that there is too much variation and we should be working on reducing it.

I also added a poll.

Last edited by Sidney Vianna; 21st May 2018 at 11:32 AM. Reason: Poll added
  Post Number #3  
Old 20th May 2018, 03:18 PM
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Re: "It depends on the Auditor" Is excessive variation jeopardizing system certificat

The poll, unavoidably, is pretty subjective. Interesting, though to see what folks think.

I, for one, expect variation between auditors and would not be surprised even a little if two auditors had opposing views on the same thing...we see it here on the forum all the time.

I voted "manageable", because auditors are humans...and cost/benefit analysis is used to decide whether to fight a finding, or simply comply with a human's interpretation of something.

If it were an option in the poll, I would have voted "Variation is large enough to undermine the value of accreditation". Not remove the value, mind you...but to undermine it...
Thanks to Ninja for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
  Post Number #4  
Old 20th May 2018, 10:14 PM
Kronos147

 
 
Total Posts: 301
Re: "It depends on the Auditor" Is excessive variation jeopardizing system certificat

The MR has to be proactive. Make sure the auditor cites the non-conformance against a requirement, read the requirement yourself, then see if there is anything the auditor missed.

If it still seems subjective after discussions, and there is no consent from the MR, yet the assessor insists it will be an official non-conformance, end the audit, or appeal the finding.

Finally, if an independent person cannot verify the written non-conformance, there may be another reason for an appeal.
Thank You to Kronos147 for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
  Post Number #5  
Old 21st May 2018, 07:15 AM
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Jen Kirley

 
 
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Re: "It depends on the Auditor" Is excessive variation jeopardizing system certificat

Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by Kronos147 View Post

The MR has to be proactive. Make sure the auditor cites the non-conformance against a requirement, read the requirement yourself, then see if there is anything the auditor missed.

If it still seems subjective after discussions, and there is no consent from the MR, yet the assessor insists it will be an official non-conformance, end the audit, or appeal the finding.

Finally, if an independent person cannot verify the written non-conformance, there may be another reason for an appeal.
Spot on. There is variation among auditors, and try as they might the CBs will probably never fully "calibrate" us. The clients can do their part by fearlessly disputing nonconformances which do not list a clear "shall" or relevant interested party requirement. A good CB will include the overturned action requests in their regular training. It benefits us and the clients to clarify and re-affirm our boundaries.
Thanks to Jen Kirley for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
  Post Number #6  
Old 21st May 2018, 07:42 AM
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Question Re: "It depends on the Auditor" Is excessive variation jeopardizing system certificat

Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by Jen Kirley View Post

Spot on. There is variation among auditors, and try as they might the CBs will probably never fully "calibrate" us.
"Try"? I see little evidence of "try" and, I'm aware of auditors who don't believe they need "calibration"...
  Post Number #7  
Old 21st May 2018, 07:59 AM
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Howard Atkins

 
 
Total Posts: 2,979
Re: "It depends on the Auditor" Is excessive variation jeopardizing system certificat

We are not talking about variation rather incorrect information.
The lab issue above is simply an error on the part of the initial auditor which the company should have questioned as to where it states this in the standard.

The variation is on some cases on the accreditation body, the IATF consistently accuses us of soft grading and not finding more Major Nonconformacies, monitoring each CB to see the number given and the ration of minor to major.
One big factor that involves variation is the auditee, if one sees that he is intent on improving then the carrot my be more beneficial than the stick.
Thanks to Howard Atkins for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
  Post Number #8  
Old 21st May 2018, 08:10 AM
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ScottK

 
 
Total Posts: 2,722
Re: "It depends on the Auditor" Is excessive variation jeopardizing system certificat

I fearlessly dispute things when necessary.
Still have the rare hour long argument about calibrating tape measures for a +- 1" reference specification.

So - I really don't think it's possible to have 100% calibration but I also don't see the variation as excessive for NBs and CBs, in general. Once in a while there is an outlier.

Although there was one instance where I switched registrars... the last auditor from the prior registrar had worked for the new and when the new registrar came in for the transfer audit and reviewed last findings, the auditor commented something like "yeah, I worked with that auditor. These couple of findings are BS and typical of that person work".

The absolute worst experience I have had with auditors have been with SQA Services coming in to represent customers. The variation is wild as each of the auditors are contractors. I dread getting calls from them saying "we're auditing on behalf of ________".
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