Backsliding QMS - My office has gone through major management change

Jaxter

Involved In Discussions
#1
:uhoh:I know I will get a lot of criticism on this, but...my office has gone through major management change and transition since our last audit, external and internal. Management is constantly busy with meetings, the work, the employees, billing, customers, reorganizing departments and all issues connected with these. To say we've been "slammed" is putting it mildly. Our next external audit is approaching. What is the worst that could happen if we have some major NC's? How many do you need to have to have your cert suspended?

I know that ISO is an ongoing process. We have been following our established proceedures, but seem to be lacking in follow-up of corrective actions from previous deficiencies. Things may not be a bad as I think, but would like some valuable input from some of you experts.

It's like we backslid and now need to catch-up in a few months.

:frust: Fustrated QCM
 
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F

Frank Oros

#2
If you are the only one in your organization that recognizes these 'gaps', then you could in fact have some rough road ahead with your registrar. On the other hand, if your management team recognizes the impact of the changes that they've made, have identified the gaps, have plans underway (documented) to repair the pot-holes and a forecasted get-well program, your registrar should recognize this as appropriate 'change management' and give you a handful of OFIs, with bookmarks for review when he/she returns in 6 mos- 1 year. If you have mission-critical metrics that you've historically measured without fail, these should be at the top of your list from a maintenance standpoint.
If the 'awareness' meetings haven't begun yet, get them underway and let the gantt charts, swim-lanes et al, fly.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#3
If your asking about worst case scenario I'll help with the answer


Major nonconformity for failure to effectively maintain the system, 4.1...Potential suspension or revocation of certificate

There you go, worst case
 
#4
:uhoh:I know I will get a lot of criticism on this, but...my office has gone through major management change and transition since our last audit, external and internal. Management is constantly busy with meetings, the work, the employees, billing, customers, reorganizing departments and all issues connected with these. To say we've been "slammed" is putting it mildly. Our next external audit is approaching. What is the worst that could happen if we have some major NC's? How many do you need to have to have your cert suspended?

I know that ISO is an ongoing process. We have been following our established proceedures, but seem to be lacking in follow-up of corrective actions from previous deficiencies. Things may not be a bad as I think, but would like some valuable input from some of you experts.

It's like we backslid and now need to catch-up in a few months.

:frust: Fustrated QCM
:) Smile first.
Nothing is wrong
Have all that you have detailed as clear management review records and based on the management review outputs, list the decisions and actions that are to be taken. let the records be timely and if any open actions still, do again discuss in the management review and record changed course of action.
Attend to all such tasks that effect your customer requirements directly, others next and as you know Randy has spelled out the worst, I am sure you will not hit that.
Good luck.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#5
HTML:
What is the worst that could happen if we have some major NC's?
This is the question asked by the OP guys and it's been answered


HTML:
How many do you need to have to have your cert suspended?
The answer to question #2 is 1
 
#6
HTML:
What is the worst that could happen if we have some major NC's?
This is the question asked by the OP guys and it's been answered


HTML:
How many do you need to have to have your cert suspended?
The answer to question #2 is 1
And Jaxter also says this .....
Things may not be a bad as I think, but would like some valuable input from some of you experts.
 
#7
I know I will get a lot of criticism on this, but...
From us, you mean? No, I don't think so: Many, maybe even most of us, have experienced something similar at one time or another, and we would rather try to help.
We have been following our established proceedures, but seem to be lacking in follow-up of corrective actions from previous deficiencies.
I think you just hit what needs to be done: Basically, your registrar will be much more understanding if you can show them planned and ongoing actions intended to get you back on track, so get your facts straight by listing those things, and start ticking them off.
It's like we backslid and now need to catch-up in a few months.
Yes. Like I said, it has happened to many of us, and I recognize the situation you describe. We, for instance, are currently picking up the pieces after a painful downsizing, and patching things together again.

/Claes
 

harry

Trusted Information Resource
#8
From us, you mean? No, I don't think so: Many, maybe even most of us, have experienced something similar at one time or another, and we would rather try to help. ...........................
Exactly, especially in today's turbulent world. And it reminds me of some discussions going on the last few days regarding: Management Review Input - Changes that could affect the QMS

Basically, your registrar will be much more understanding if you can show them planned and ongoing actions intended to get you back on track, so get your facts straight by listing those things, and start ticking them off.
The management review is an area where you can show that actions and plans are being formulated to overcome the situation.
 
P

pldey42

#9
My understanding (from teaching management systems for a leading accredited CB for several years) is that the certificate is not suspended when a CB auditor finds an NC, or even several. Suspension will only happen if the NCs are not fixed according to the plan agreed with the CB, and then only after at least one warning letter.

Certification does not mean there are no NCs in the system. It means there are NCs which are not being fixed to plan, and they're sufficient in number or severity to damage the credibility of the certification. (If certification meant there are no NCs, the system would never change, because while it's being changed to meet new or changed requirements, or to fix problems, there is an NC: something ain't workin' right.)

When major organizational change is happening the right thing to do is to redefine responsibilities, authorities and processes and use the QMS to communicate such changes, typically by revising relevant documents. The QMS should not be regarded as a problem by management, but a tool for helping them manage the changes effectively.

Any NCs found by the CB during this process, too, are not something to avoid. They should be used to help management to manage their changes effectively by fixing the NC,s and using the QMS as it should be used to avoid further NCs.

Don't worry about NCs, they're the whips you may need to remind managers of how useful the QMS can be, used properly: you're not responsible either for the NCs or the potential loss of certification: they are.

CB auditors understand (or should) that during major organizational change NCs will arise. They will not want to add to the turmoil and risk the organization losing customers by unnecessarily suspending the certification. Talk to them ahead of time, let them know what's happening, so that they audit with understanding of the background to the changes. They might be able to facilitate the changes by auditing with planned or expected change in mind, for example by asking whether existing processes will scale up (or down) to respond to the new environment.

Hope this helps,
Pat
 
T

treesei

#10
:uhoh:I know I will get a lot of criticism on this, but...my office has gone through major management change and transition since our last audit, external and internal. Management is constantly busy with meetings, the work, the employees, billing, customers, reorganizing departments and all issues connected with these. To say we've been "slammed" is putting it mildly. Our next external audit is approaching. What is the worst that could happen if we have some major NC's? How many do you need to have to have your cert suspended?

I know that ISO is an ongoing process. We have been following our established proceedures, but seem to be lacking in follow-up of corrective actions from previous deficiencies. Things may not be a bad as I think, but would like some valuable input from some of you experts.

It's like we backslid and now need to catch-up in a few months.



------------------------------------------------------------
This is quite normal when major changes occur with management and org. It takes time for every one to find his/her place under the new order and return to productivity. An reasonable auditor will see this and take it into consideration.

But don't wait. Start to take actions immediately to address gaps and plan/implement corrective actions. We may not be able to fill every gap before the audit but it makes a big difference to show the auditor, and emphasize it, that we recognized the gaps and have been taking actions to get things right: Here is the plan, here is the timeline, here is what we have done, here is what we will do in the next xx weeks.
 
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