Consequences of Major Non-Conformances during a Registration Audit

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somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
What are the consequences of receiving major non-conformances during a registration or surveillance audit?
Usually a special assessment perhaps with a limited scope depending upon the Major areas, within 90 days of the audit, to assess your corrective action and its implementation AT YOUR COST.
 
#3
Usually a special assessment perhaps with a limited scope depending upon the Major areas, within 90 days of the audit, to assess your corrective action and its implementation AT YOUR COST.
"Usually"...might be in your experience, mine's different.

It's going to depend very much on the nature/content of the nc and what the appropriate follow up is. The submittal of both a plan and actual results, for review, can allow the major to be down-graded to a minor. This minor will then be critically reviewed at the next visit. A follow up visit in 90 days is not always scheduled.
 
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DRAMMAN

Quite Involved in Discussions
#4
Thanks. I have never had to deal receiving a major NC and am wondering what actually happens. Is there an a sliding escalation of registrar requirements base don multiple majors? Is there a point at which a certification can be suspended or revoked?
 
#5
Thanks. I have never had to deal receiving a major NC and am wondering what actually happens. Is there an a sliding escalation of registrar requirements base don multiple majors? Is there a point at which a certification can be suspended or revoked?
A good place to start is to contact your CB! We (those both inside and outside a CB) can tell you what our experiences are, but there's nothing like knowing how YOUR CB handles things. We are all supposed to follow a system, which meets ISO/IEC 17021, but that leaves scope for variety.

Yes, there is an escalation process. Yes, there is a suspension process. Best to find out what YOUR CB does...
 

Helmut Jilling

Auditor / Consultant
#6
What are the consequences of receiving major non-conformances during a registration or surveillance audit?
While I agree with AndyN and the other answers, a simple direct answer to your question is both a minor NC, and a Major NC, will be handled as a corrective action. Both will require the usual corrections, and corrective actions. The Major is just a "Bigger" issue. That is where the differences come into play. Because it is a bigger issue, the corrective action is frequently more involved. It gets more scrutiny. In TS, it typically requires a return visit for onsite review and closure.

As AndyN said, these details will vary from CB to CB, but that is the general overview.
 
M

mguilbert

#7
I agree you need to check with your CB auditor. Also your CB auditor should have let you know the consequences of a major during the inbriefing and the out briefing. That includes what needs to be done on your part and what they will need to do. As well as timelines (due dates).
 
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drgnrider

Quite Involved in Discussions
#8
It's going to depend very much on the nature/content of the nc and what the appropriate follow up is. The submittal of both a plan and actual results, for review, can allow the major to be down-graded to a minor. This minor will then be critically reviewed at the next visit. A follow up visit in 90 days is not always scheduled.
Like AndyN said, lots of things go into the basis for the major. I've had one major (ISO-14001), for "impact", they wrote "Human Health" :mg:. We were able to do an immediate correction (re-training) to get it downgraded to a minor and then got the minor closed utilizing our CB's off-site review process... at our $expense$... but no additional on-site visit.


A good place to start is to contact your CB! We (those both inside and outside a CB) can tell you what our experiences are, but there's nothing like knowing how YOUR CB handles things. We are all supposed to follow a system, which meets ISO/IEC 17021, but that leaves scope for variety.

Yes, there is an escalation process. Yes, there is a suspension process. Best to find out what YOUR CB does...
Don't expect to "see" their policy. I asked to see my CB's policy less than a week ago and was informed that I couldn't get a copy because it is an internal document, but that it has been approved by the accreditation boards and if I had any questions, they would review it on a case-by-case basis.

I asked based on a previous post here on the cove referencing ANAB Accreditation Rule #22.
 
W

Wilderness Woody

#9
Usually a special assessment perhaps with a limited scope depending upon the Major areas, within 90 days of the audit, to assess your corrective action and its implementation AT YOUR COST.
After our certification audit in 2012 resulting in (1) Major and (4) Minors and then just completing our surveillance audit today with ZERO NC's, I can say that ZERO is a great number! :)

We had a lot of corrective action work in a tight schedule to satisfy our CB auditor with those 5 NC's and lots of documentation to provide objective evidence of the changes made. It hit home to management since the Major NC was leveled squarely at 5.6 Management Review!
 

Big Jim

Trusted Information Resource
#10
I can explain how I've been instructed to deal with majors with the CB I work with.

Majors are called into the office as soon as they are identified. There is a discussion as to if the audit should continue. I have never been told to stop the audit. There is often discussion as to if it truly is a major, and sometimes it is agreed that it is a nonconformance, but not a major. The auditor is asked if a re-visit is necessary. It usually is not. In the several years I've been doing this, I can only think of two that required a revisit. The office asks for the audit number, and the audit package is earmarked for closer scrutiny when it is reviewed.

Additionally, the auditor places closer scrutiny on the NCR response before sending it on to the office.

I doubt that it is much different for other CBs.
 
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