Auditing of Support Function

#1
Hi,

We have a head office that provides various supporting functions such as product design, strategy planning etc.

Should audit these processes as part of our internal audit programme or is enough that they are audited by a certification body? I'm finding the standard a little unclear on this.

We have included them as part of the scope of our QMS as required and it is my interpretation that we should be conducting internal audits because they are effectively part of quality management system, of which the audit programme should cover the entirety. There a differing opinions on this internally so I am looking for some advice from someone a little wiser and with more experience.
 
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#3
Hi Jim,

Thanks for replying.

Do you think a support process different to a support function that is offsite? We have processes that are classed as support processes on site which we audit; however, the support function seems to be discussed separately in the standard and is also audited separately by the certification body. It would be difficult to audit effectively as they are based abroad..

Something to add is that I think there may be a group auditing team that do audit these processes and are part of the same organisation - perhaps this will satisfy the requirement if it does need to be part of the audit programme.
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#4
Hi Jim,

Thanks for replying.

Do you think a support process different to a support function that is offsite? We have processes that are classed as support processes on site which we audit; however, the support function seems to be discussed separately in the standard and is also audited separately by the certification body. It would be difficult to audit effectively as they are based abroad..

Something to add is that I think there may be a group auditing team that do audit these processes and are part of the same organisation - perhaps this will satisfy the requirement if it does need to be part of the audit programme.
Does the remote facility have its own registration?
 
#5
No they are only registered as a remote supporting location for out site (the manufacturing site).

I think i will work on the assumption that they have to be audited just to be safe and that it is acceptable for the processes to be audited by qualified auditor at the remote location - can't see anything to contradict this in the standard or rules!
 

Sebastian

Trusted Information Resource
#6
Remote supporting functions have to be covered by scope of internal audits performed by qualified employees of manufacturing site or organization performing supporting functions. Same applies to third party audits. Certification body has two options - audit by themselves supporting functions or use report from third part audit performed by other Certification Body as part of certification activities related to manufacturing site QMS. Details are provided in certification rules - Details
 
#7
Thanks Sebastian. Yeah I was aware of the auditing bodies choices for how they audit but I was confused from and internal point of view. I think its pretty clear now we need to include these in the scope of our internal audits.
 

Sebastian

Trusted Information Resource
#8
Sometimes remote supporting functions sits together with another manufacturing site and then that manufacturing site covers these functions in their program of internal audit. Then you don't include them in your program, but even I've saw this was accepted by CB auditor, I still have doubts it is really ok. It is not well described in rules and also audited. In my opinion it needs more detailed description in rules and IATF 16949 standard too.
 

jelly1921

Quite Involved in Discussions
#9
4.3.1 Supporting functions, whether on-site or remote (such as design centres, corporate headquarters, and distribution centres), shall be
included in the scope of the Quality Management System (QMS).
4.4.1 The organization shall establish, implement, maintain and continually improve a quality management system, including the
processes needed and their interactions, in accordance with the requirements of this International Standard.
9.2.2.2 The organization shall audit all quality management system processes over each three-year calendar period, according to an annual
programme, using the process approach to verify compliance with this Automotive QMS Standard

That means remote locations have to setup processes to support the site, and these processes shall be included in the QMS of the site.
Therefore, these processes shall be included in the internal system audit in three year period.
And the interfaces between the site and remote locations shall be audited.
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#10
Jelly,

Those processes you speak of setting up already probably exist.

But you may have to seek them and their owners, study them and then, possibly, document their procedures accurately and to the extent necessary for their effective planning, resourcing and control.

John
 
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