Choosing a Registrar - Registrar Recommendations

howste

Thaumaturge
Super Moderator
Seems like that must be going around or being taught to auditors. Heard the same thing recently from an auditor and a person teaching an auditor class that they can write a finding based on their opinion. In most cases when these are contested they default to the standard and the finding is dropped.
I don't appreciate the consulting either unless I ask for an opinion. I feel like the specific organization should be judged / audited against the standard not what the auditor has seen in other places good or bad. Kind of defeats the purpose of having an objective, unbiased audit to the standard.
It certainly shouldn't be taught in any accredited courses. At most an auditor could write an observation based on their opinion, with no requirement to take action. Requirements and evidence are still required to write a nonconformity. And consulting is still forbidden.

I would hope that the auditor at LRQA was an outlier, and I hope that cbearden complained as John implied to get some action taken.
 
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Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
I have recently been written Nonconformance's for what was deemed, "Auditor's Opinion"....The Auditor even admitted it...
I wont go into the details, but when the Auditor admits its his opinion he his writing you up for, you know something is wrong.....
I agree wholeheartedly with you that 3rd party auditing must be evidence-based, fact-based assessments and "opinions" should never be justification for nonconformities. That's what we are taught in Lead Auditor classes and those of us who teach Lead Auditor classes emphasize this aspect as well.

Not sure what standard you were being audited against, but, and very unfortunately, this new generation of ISO MSS's following the High Level Structure, are significantly more subjective than the previous versions, which leads itself to "more opinions" being interjected during the audit process. One needs only to look at the endless discussions about risk based thinking and what constitutes "evidence" of compliance...

Auditability of requirements is something that the ISO TC's were supposed to validate during the development process of the revisions, and, in my opinion, they failed miserably. This latest batch of ISO MSS standards is overly open to multiple interpretations and make the job of (internal/external) auditors much more complex and subjected to criticism, as in this case.

Not surprisingly, highly regulated sectors such as the medical device industry, the Aviation, Space & Defense sector and the Automotive OEM's either ditched the HLS or hugely augmented their respective standards to provide clear-cut, auditable requirements.

So, coming back to your feedback, while you are 100% justified in your expectations, the "new context" in which 3rd party auditors operate is different than before. As I have said numerous times here and in my LinkedIn Group, the management system conformity assessment practices have not been updated to reflect the new reality of auditing against HLS-based ISO MSS's, which, in my opinion, just shows the lack of vision and awareness by the IAF and the whole conformity assessment sector.
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
Seems like that must be going around or being taught to auditors. Heard the same thing recently from an auditor and a person teaching an auditor class that they can write a finding based on their opinion. In most cases when these are contested they default to the standard and the finding is dropped.
I don't appreciate the consulting either unless I ask for an opinion. I feel like the specific organization should be judged / audited against the standard not what the auditor has seen in other places good or bad. Kind of defeats the purpose of having an objective, unbiased audit to the standard.
For advice to be part of the audit I would say that it must be requested by the auditee and documented in the audit objective which is part of the audit report.

Asking an auditor how to solve a problem may prompt an investigation into the adequacy of your problem solving process!
 

WCHorn

Rubber, Too Glamorous?
Trusted Information Resource
I wont go into the details, but when the Auditor admits its his opinion he his writing you up for, you know something is wrong.....
Also, approx. 40% of the Audit was an exercise in Consulting with the Auditor showing me how we should run our company and how others in our Industry do it....Very Frustrating Audit...
My experience with third-party, and even second-party audits, is that the LRQA auditor is an outlier. A few thoughts.

Sometimes it’s the interpretation of the requirement that is the cause of a finding that might be characterized as an opinion. It’s the auditee’s responsibility to ask the right questions to the auditor to nail down the auditor’s interpretation. During that conversation, you can express your opinion/interpretation and perhaps win the day. If the auditor is unbending, at least you have something to use as evidence if you’re going to take exception to the finding.

Regarding consulting, if an auditor reveals methodologies that are privy to his clients, then it is likely that he will reveal your methodologies to other clients, perhaps one with whom you compete. The auditor has an obligation to hold your methodologies and other confidential information as secret to you and her:agree:. It is unethical for any auditor to reveal that information:nope:; the client should express his immediate concern to the auditor.

To me, if the information revealed is significant, you should stop the audit right there and ask the auditing body to intervene. I have had this problem with just one third-party auditor; I won’t reveal the auditing body, but it starts with “Nad” and ends with “cap.” They tried to reschedule the auditor to me for two following audits and I requested and received different auditors when I described the auditor as a potential risk to our company’s confidential information (risk-based thinking, right?:cool:). I’ve had excellent rapport with our QMS registrar and never had a problem with them.

Good hunting.
 

cbearden

Involved In Discussions
Haven't filed complaint to LRQA yet but its coming....audit is wrapping up today.
Also, LRQA is being fired as our Registrar along with (4) other sites in our corporation.

By the Way, I welcome Audit findings for our system...I use them as opportunities to improve....In this case, I showed the Auditor where we are compliant to the standard and he even somewhat agreed...but because we weren't doing it the way he wanted to see it done, he wrote us up for it....I find that is in Poor taste and really breaks the rules of auditing.
 

psp1234

Involved In Discussions
Also interested to hear new posts about certifying bodies.

Very frustrated with NSAI. Hard to schedule an audit, very little flexibility with dates+auditors write opinion as NC. Interpretation of 13485 to the highest level (even if you are a contract manufacturer that makes zero-risk parts).

Sue
 
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