Auditor says a Minor Nonconformance will become a Major Nonconformance

#1
Hi All, Hope you are well.
It seems I only post here when I have a problem,:eek:
We have just been re-audited by our certification body. On his last visit he raised a Minor NC on a Design review process, This was 80% completed for this audit and we expected him to leave it open and assess it next time. (various substantial reasons were given as to why it had not been fully completed). Instead he stated in the report that this will be raised to a Major NC if not completed by his next visit (nothing was said during the audit itself). The NC will be completed for the next audit but this statement has senior management asking all sort of questions as to the why this statement has been put on record.
Should this have been put on record and is it right to turn a Minor into a major when there is clear evidence that the process is being addressed??
thanks for any help..
Shaun
 

John Broomfield

Fully retired...
Trusted
#2
Hi All, Hope you are well.
It seems I only post here when I have a problem,:eek:
We have just been re-audited by our certification body. On his last visit he raised a Minor NC on a Design review process, This was 80% completed for this audit and we expected him to leave it open and assess it next time. (various substantial reasons were given as to why it had not been fully completed). Instead he stated in the report that this will be raised to a Major NC if not completed by his next visit (nothing was said during the audit itself). The NC will be completed for the next audit but this statement has senior management asking all sort of questions as to the why this statement has been put on record.
Should this have been put on record and is it right to turn a Minor into a major when there is clear evidence that the process is being addressed??
thanks for any help..
Shaun
Shaun,

Your auditor should have explained this face to face instead of sneaking the escalation rule or decision into the report.

The auditor may have serious concerns regarding the lack of management commitment to bringing design review into your management system.

Asking for this forecast/threat to be removed from the report will deepen concerns about another delay in corrective action.

Instead, ask that all findings to be reported are discussed during the audit before they are reported.

John
 
#3
Hi All, Hope you are well.
It seems I only post here when I have a problem,:eek:
Not entirely unusual, and you are welcome. :D Anyway, as you evidently feel certain that the issue will be resolved in time for next audit the escalation will not happen, but as John says your auditor should have told you about this during the audit. As for the managers, I suppose you'd better explain to them that raising unaddressed minors to majors is standard practice.

/Claes
 

qusys

Quite Involved in Discussions
#4
Hi All, Hope you are well.
It seems I only post here when I have a problem,:eek:
We have just been re-audited by our certification body. On his last visit he raised a Minor NC on a Design review process, This was 80% completed for this audit and we expected him to leave it open and assess it next time. (various substantial reasons were given as to why it had not been fully completed). Instead he stated in the report that this will be raised to a Major NC if not completed by his next visit (nothing was said during the audit itself). The NC will be completed for the next audit but this statement has senior management asking all sort of questions as to the why this statement has been put on record.
Should this have been put on record and is it right to turn a Minor into a major when there is clear evidence that the process is being addressed??
thanks for any help..
Shaun
It is very difficult to understand the dynamics of the audit from the verbiage of the post.
However I think it depends upon the rules of the registrar body that you should know and signed off. Your mgmt is responsible for this because you as organization have selected the registrar. Probably the auditor wanted to stress the concept that the non conformity appeared to be faced with some delay, even though you gave some considerations for this. Probably , the words of the auditor will raise the attention for this issue by means of additional effort of your mgmt to close definitively. I would like to advice you to make follow up internal audit for this issue and include in your internal audit programme increasing the frequency of the audit for the audited process.Hope this helps:bigwave:
 
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somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#5
Hi All, Hope you are well.
It seems I only post here when I have a problem,:eek:
We have just been re-audited by our certification body. On his last visit he raised a Minor NC on a Design review process, This was 80% completed for this audit and we expected him to leave it open and assess it next time. (various substantial reasons were given as to why it had not been fully completed). Instead he stated in the report that this will be raised to a Major NC if not completed by his next visit (nothing was said during the audit itself). The NC will be completed for the next audit but this statement has senior management asking all sort of questions as to the why this statement has been put on record.
Should this have been put on record and is it right to turn a Minor into a major when there is clear evidence that the process is being addressed??
thanks for any help..
Shaun
As I read it I can see three audit cycles you mention (Just been re-audited; last visit; next time)
You are talking about a design review process minor NC last visit cycle, and a repeat in just been re-audited cycle.
You stand in good hands of the auditor who has warned you that in case an other design review process NC is noted in next visit, this will be a major, in writing.
The design process example reviewed in the audit can be at any stage of completion. However it is expected that reviews are effectively conducted up to that stage and records of review evidenced.
 
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#6
It's total HorseFritters :horse: "if" you have evidence that it is being worked on. I have had clients with NC's that have taken a year or 2 to clear because of business issues (not everyone has a couple hundred thousand $'s on hand to fix a problem)

As long as "progress" is demonstrated and the NC is hasn't been slid under the rug to be forgotten there is no big deal

There are ton's of knuckleheads that fail to understand or accept that Corrective Action is a time based process

Now, on the other hand, "if" the evidence show that any actions are actually "sunshine or smoke" being pumped up the auditors fanny then elevation to a more serious level is a common practice, we in fact as a matter of procedure are required to state this fact when issuing NC's, and at opening & closing meetings. So what you'd wind up with would be a Major and probably another NC for an ineffective CA process (I've done it)
 

Bill Pflanz

Inactive Registered Visitor
#7
I don't see how a minor nonconformance can be escalated to a major. Either it is a major or not from the very beginning. Now I have issued a major nonconformance in an internal audit because minor nonconformances were not being reviewed and closed out. The major nonconformances was related to a lack of management review not an escalation of the minors.

The only reason that I took this step was that I could not get the plant manager to understand the importance of management review. The vice president totally backed me when I reviewed the problem with him and authorized the issuance of the major. After that nonconformance I never had another problem again with the plant manager. Sometimes you have to play hardball.

Bill Pflanz
 
#8
I know that some CBs expect unresolved minors to be escalated to majors. I wonder if they are driven by the ABs or by some requirement in 17021. Does anyone here have some insight on the topic?
 

AndyN

A problem shared...
Staff member
Super Moderator
#9
I know that some CBs expect unresolved minors to be escalated to majors. I wonder if they are driven by the ABs or by some requirement in 17021. Does anyone here have some insight on the topic?
Yes, it is Jim. I've been in the same room when the AB told the CB that the practice of allowing lengthy resolutions to minors is inexcusable and that escalation is expected. In some ways, I'd agree, frankly - or the thing was written or graded wrongly in the first place! This isn't something new, btw. Ever since I was a CB auditor it has been that way (but then, we know all CBs don't encourage/communicate with their auditors effectively, about such issues...)
 

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