CAR from 3rd party AS9100D auditor - Root cause dilemma

Audit Coordinator

Involved In Discussions
#1
Short explanation. Had transition AS9100D audit, finished last Friday. We had not audited to the new standard. Received a minor nonconformance for not auditing to the new standard. Internal CA issued for me to address.

I am the audit coordinator. Last year, January thru May, our Quality Manager, myself, and two others completed the transition classes. No mention in this class as to when we were supposed to change over our audits to the new standard. Quality Manager and the other two auditors completed audits to the old standard (including self). No mention to me about auditing to the new standard from the Quality Manager although I asked him and he told me that we could start auditing to the new standard with the new FY2019 audit schedule which started this month. Quality Manager retired in February.

Now, I am struggling with how to address the root cause and preventive action for the CA. I don't think it is appropriate to blame the old QM but it was lack of communication or incorrect communication that caused this issue. I was enlightened about two weeks ago that the QM knew we were supposed to upgrade last year - don't know if he neglected to tell me due to vindictive reasons as he was very frustrated with the lack of manager support for QA or what. :mg:

So, how does one report such a root cause and how does one go about responding to the preventive action being that this type of thing only comes around every 10 years?

I'm not well experience with all things quality as I've only been working in quality six years and have learned everything I know from reading and this forum. I do know that we usually try to keep people's names out of the CA and direct towards system failures and such.

Thanks in advance especially for this self taught, up from the ranks employee.
 
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#2
You don't do a root cause - you correct things, which is what you did/will do. There is no root cause and this is a problem with the CB audit process, which is expecting there to be a root cause to everything - when in fact you simply need to correct the issue and move on.
 

Sidney Vianna

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Staff member
Admin
#3
You don't do a root cause - you correct things, which is what you did/will do. There is no root cause and this is a problem with the CB audit process, which is expecting there to be a root cause to everything - when in fact you simply need to correct the issue and move on.
Because this is an AS9100 audit, the registrant HAS TO FOLLOW a pre-determined process when responding to CB corrective action requests. The form below mandates a root cause evaluation. If the CB auditor accepts a corrective action without proper evaluation, it will likely be rejected by the CB technical reviewer. The IAQG and the ICOP recognized AB's are always scrutinizing the CB corrective action review processes. From a risk-based thinking perspective, it would behoove to all parties involved that root cause is assessed and reported.

 

Audit Coordinator

Involved In Discussions
#4
Andy, I've noticed you are a bit of a rebel in your responses....lol.
In this case, it is no time to buck the system. A root cause analysis and preventive actions are required to submit to the CB. I'm not going to fool around as a rejection of my response could cause our company's certificate not to be renewed. That's a big deal!
So I'm still wondering how to put this without personally implicating the QM (that would be thrown out) - and how can one prevent this when it is something that only happens very infrequently and it was due to the QM not telling me about it and no mention of it in training either!
 
#5
I understand, Sidney. This is fundamentally an area of the CB practice which is out of step with reality. It's what I call the "iceberg" principle of an issue on the surface, being part of a bigger problem (under the surface) when it's simply something which needed fixing. Whatever the box is titled on the form, I'd put in the correction - because the root cause isn't going to be found realistically.

Clearly, the OP can't "blame" the training. Shouldn't the CB have communicated to the OP expectations? Who knows? Hours could be wasted wringing hands over this arcane point. Learn and move on is best...
 
#6
Andy, I've noticed you are a bit of a rebel in your responses....lol.
In this case, it is no time to buck the system. A root cause analysis and preventive actions are required to submit to the CB. I'm not going to fool around as a rejection of my response could cause our company's certificate not to be renewed. That's a big deal!
So I'm still wondering how to put this without personally implicating the QM (that would be thrown out) - and how can one prevent this when it is something that only happens very infrequently and it was due to the QM not telling me about it and no mention of it in training either!
I'd put it down to the lack of clear instruction/direction from the CB as to their expectations for your transition in time for their audits... :notme:
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#7
So I'm still wondering how to put this without personally implicating the QM (that would be thrown out) - and how can one prevent this when it is something that only happens very infrequently and it was due to the QM not telling me about it and no mention of it in training either!
I understand that, sometimes, the root cause assessment can be very tricky. In this case, however, in my opinion, it is quite straightforward. The root cause is the failure to identify the need to update the internal audit criteria. One of the basic expectations for system certification is the need for the organization to have self assessed it's degree of conformance to a set of requirements before an external independent party certifies it.

Why your organization did not realize that you should have assessed your QMS, via your internal audit, against AS9100D is a basic lack of understanding of what compliance to a QMS standard requires.

Imagine your organization decides to become certified to ISO 14001:2015 next year. Wouldn't be a natural expectation that, before the CB shows up, you assess the degree of conformance against that standard, via an internal audit? Why would it be different for a standard revision?
 

Golfman25

Trusted Information Resource
#8
Every problem is a nail, so every solution is root cause.

I've posted the same issues here as well. And there is no answer because it defies logic. The best I could really come up with is a failure to understand the requirements or misinterpretation of the requirements. Know you know, so that's your corrective action. As for what happens in the future, you don't even know what the requirements are. So you say something nobody will remember when the new standard comes out.
 

Audit Coordinator

Involved In Discussions
#9
Yes, but I have found out after the fact, that our Quality Manager was aware of the timeline but he didn't relay that information to me. He even met with this CB months before about this transition and other points of interest (they all met in Florida and I'm on the west coast) so that we supposedly be ready when she showed up this month. Fortunately for my defense, our then Quality Manager even completed audits to the old standard right up to the very end of 2017! Why, oh why, did he not bring this to my attention, as the one who creates and assigns the audits, that we should be auditing to the new standard?!

When the audit started for the 9.2 section, she asked our new Quality Manager (previously a Quality Engineer with us) if she remembered that we were to be auditing to the new standard as was discussed in Florida (new QM was there too, see...) and she replied yes. I just sat there stunned - wondering why neither one of them discussed this WITH ME! I was too shocked and respectful to even defend myself at that moment.
So, that's my story and it sucks to be me now.

Imagine the QM and the QE (who is QM now) doing audits to the old standard all through 2017 and then he retires right before our CB audit and I have to answer to it! :bonk:
 

Golfman25

Trusted Information Resource
#10
Yes, but I have found out after the fact, that our Quality Manager was aware of the timeline but he didn't relay that information to me. He even met with this CB months before about this transition and other points of interest (they all met in Florida and I'm on the west coast) so that we supposedly be ready when she showed up this month. Fortunately for my defense, our then Quality Manager even completed audits to the old standard right up to the very end of 2017! Why, oh why, did he not bring this to my attention, as the one who creates and assigns the audits, that we should be auditing to the new standard?!

When the audit started for the 9.2 section, she asked our new Quality Manager (previously a Quality Engineer with us) if she remembered that we were to be auditing to the new standard as was discussed in Florida (new QM was there too, see...) and she replied yes. I just sat there stunned - wondering why neither one of them discussed this WITH ME! I was too shocked and respectful to even defend myself at that moment.
So, that's my story and it sucks to be me now.

Imagine the QM and the QE (who is QM now) doing audits to the old standard all through 2017 and then he retires right before our CB audit and I have to answer to it! :bonk:
Well at some point people have to do their jobs. If they didn't relay the information to you, then you have no way of knowing. But what doesn't make sense is how you where not auditing to the new standard. If your procedures and processes where updated, would you audit to the new standard? Or did the updates occur after the audits?
 
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