Audit Ethics and Practices regarding Evidence

luciano

Involved - Posts
#1
Dear friends
I have faced a situation that created me confusion and put me in a disagreement with the quality manager who is also my boss.
During the system audit I identified a major nonconformity related to conformance of the product in relation to customer requirements. According to our internal procedures, each product shall be fully measured every 3 years. During the audit I checked the last inspection reports from a specific product. We found in the inspection report some dimensions outside the customer specifications. Responsible for the product has not been announced regarding this situation than after 1 year and therefore have not been taken any corrective action. Inspection report was made made in 2012 (being the latest as scheduled) and the audit was in 2014. My boss said I did not proceed correctly and fair during the audit because I should not take take evidences from 2012 (even if they are last ones related to that specific product) but I would have to take only the evidences produced during the last year in 2014 (for other products and projects).
Have I proceed wrong? Did I was not fair?
Is there a rule that states that I am not allowed to use only those evidences produced in the last year?
Thank you.
 
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John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
Re: Audit ethic/ practice regarding evidences

Dear friends
I have faced a situation that created me confusion and put me in a disagreement with the quality manager who is also my boss.
During the system audit I identified a major nonconformity related to conformance of the product in relation to customer requirements. According to our internal procedures, each product shall be fully measured every 3 years. During the audit I checked the last inspection reports from a specific product. We found in the inspection report some dimensions outside the customer specifications. Responsible for the product has not been announced regarding this situation than after 1 year and therefore have not been taken any corrective action. Inspection report was made made in 2012 (being the latest as scheduled) and the audit was in 2014. My boss said I did not proceed correctly and fair during the audit because I should not take take evidences from 2012 (even if they are last ones related to that specific product) but I would have to take only the evidences produced during the last year in 2014 (for other products and projects).
Have I proceed wrong? Did I was not fair?
Is there a rule that states that I am not allowed to use only those evidences produced in the last year?
Thank you.
luciano,

It appears that you have found evidence of ineffective quality planning.

How can fully verifying product once every 3 years result in information that stops delivery of potentially nonconforming product?

For us to advise you please report here the exact nature of the nonconformity you brought to the attention of your manager.

Did you report a problem that can be solved or did you embarrass management?

Lastly, are the unreported nonconformities likely to result in product defects? Please be clear on the difference between a product nonconformity and product defect. This will assist management's product recall decision making. You may find the nonconformity was not significant to the performance of the product.

John
 

luciano

Involved - Posts
#3
Re: Audit ethic/ practice regarding evidences

John
Thank you for your reply.
The nonconformity is related to product nonconformity (some dimensions out of tolerance). Of course that are daily /weekly and monthly specific checks of the product from dimensional and functional point of view, but a complete measurement of all dimensions of the product (so called Layout inspection 8.2.4.1. – ISO TS 16949) it is done every 3 years
My main issue that I want to emphasis in this thread is not related so much to the nonconformity itself but to the audit practice. If the last inspection report for layout inspection is from 2012 for that product (and the next will be in 2015) , it is fair to check it or should I take only the layout inspection reports issued in 2014.
Is somewhere a rule that I should check as auditor only the evidences produced during last year or I can check also the “last evidences” nevertheless when these been created?
Many thanks
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
Re: Audit ethic/ practice regarding evidences

luciano,

As auditor you have the authority to sample from as far back as you can show is necessary to fulfill the audit objective.

What is the audit objective?

John
 

luciano

Involved - Posts
#5
Re: Audit ethic/ practice regarding evidences

luciano,

As auditor you have the authority to sample from as far back as you can show is necessary to fulfill the audit objective.

What is the audit objective?

John
The audit objective is to check if the system is mature and capable to assess the parts conformity and to implement corrective and preventive actions when the parts are found as Nok regarding to the specification
 
#6
Re: Audit ethic/ practice regarding evidences

IMHO, the first problem is calling this a "Major". As an auditor it is your job to evaluate the situation and determine the effectiveness of the situation. So, rather than simply sounding alarm bells and tagging the situation as significant, you should seek further information to quantify the issue. Has there been any feedback from the customer? How significant is the "out of tolerance" condition? Are these critical features? Does it really matter? I mean, really matter?

When you raise an issue of "major" status, you have to be prepared to back to up and justify why it's a breakdown in the system - and, apparently, that hasn't happened...

I'd suggest you use it as a learning experience and apply your (new) knowledge to the next audit.
 
#7
Re: Audit ethic/ practice regarding evidences

luciano,

As auditor you have the authority to sample from as far back as you can show is necessary to fulfill the audit objective.

What is the audit objective?

John
That's crazy, John! Why would management get excited over something so old? It's like you just finding out that 8 year olds used to work in cotton mills in Lancashire...
 
S

sitapaty

#8
Re: Audit ethic/ practice regarding evidences

I personally feel that the query of Luciano is a bit complicated to understand.
Is the lay out inspection not carried oUt with-in specified interval?If yes it is a definite NC.
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#9
Re: Audit ethic/ practice regarding evidences

The audit objective is to check if the system is mature and capable to assess the parts conformity and to implement corrective and preventive actions when the parts are found as Nok regarding to the specification
luciano,

Who asked you to audit to see if the "system" is mature? It sounds made up to me. The audit objective should come from the audit client not the auditor.

For a process that is done once every 3 years I agree that you would probably need to sample the records from the 2014, 2011 and 2008 inspections to determine its effectiveness or capability. But then you should ask yourself if you are really looking at the same process over six or so years.

What are the triannual inspections meant to achieve? Unless the people who perform these inspections know their purpose they may not report nonconformities for corrective action or the corrective action may be seen by management as pointless.

Perhaps the triannual inspections are meant to result in any needed corrections? I note that your stated audit objective makes no mention of correction or of the Control Plans.

What action does the Control Plan specify in response to any nonconformity discovered by these triannual inspections?

Please be aware that preventive action precedes corrective action. That is why I remain focused on the effectiveness of your quality planning.

And I agree with Andy one of his points, why call this a major nonconformity? What is your evidence of system breakdown?

John
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#10
Re: Audit ethic/ practice regarding evidences

That's crazy, John! Why would management get excited over something so old? It's like you just finding out that 8 year olds used to work in cotton mills in Lancashire...
Andy,

1833? :lmao:

You may need to go back this far if auditing when the Lancashire Mills stopped employing child labor.

But our OP is auditing the effectiveness of triannual layout inspection in terms of what happens when discovering nonconformity. It is easy enough to justify a sample of three if the layout inspection and reporting processes are comparable.

In response to a nonconformity reported by each of these layout inspections it could be that the relevant process was corrected and that was it.

But our intrepid auditor has the preconceived notion (reinforced by his audit objective) that there should be evidence of corrective action to stop recurrence of each nonconformity.

We both know that is not necessarily required by ISO/TS 16849 or by the Control Plan.

But we may see as more facts come to light.

John
 
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