I have found that corrective actions for the non-conformities raised during the audit are usually
a) Adding a particular instruction / clause in the procedure / other documnet
b) training of employee concerned
c) Provisioning of a particular resource
I find that "training the employee" may only be part of the problem when pursueing corrective action. The real question goes back to "What is the root cause?" You need to ask yourself these basic questions?
a) Was the employee just put into the job without any training?
b) If trained, did the employee just not follow the work instructions? If so, why not?
c) If the work document was wrong, why was it wrong? Wasn't it properly reviewed before approval?
d) What is going to be done to prevent this nonconformance from happening again?
Remember, root causes must be taken far enough to completely answer HOW or WHY it happen.
These are just my opinions and may not reflect the opinions of management or others.
Good reply Bob! I often say that if there is a lack of performance, you must find out if the employee didn't know (lack of knowledge), then train. If the employee knew, but didn't perform (lack of execution), then you must find out what cause the performance lack. It could be a problem with the employee and it could be management, or equipment. Just as you said Bob:
root causes must be taken far enough to completely answer HOW or WHY it happen
I agree that you need to find out the root cause of any problem, but you also need to be careful when looking at the process. Sometimes you can be so focused on the process and finding the problem in the process that you overlook the employee. Sometimes you just have to realize that the root cause is a problem employee.
Now that I have climbed off my soapbox I will throw in my two cents on the original subject. It seems that the vast majority of non-conformances do revolve around documentation in some way. Either you don't have the proper document/procedure, or the procedure isn't being followed, or something else related. I haven't seen any non-conformances for lack of management support (I'm sure there are some), but I would say that lack of management support is a problem and is a contributing factor to many NCs.
ISO9001:2000, clause 5.5, Responsibility, authority and communication.... The title says it all, really. The root causes we're all looking for can often be found under that clause, and it is also clearly connected with what Richard quite correctly said: Management support.
However: .... Ok, where is that soap box? Ah, there.. Ok... Ahem..
How often do we see audit reports nailing nc's under those clauses? At least in internal audits, it may in many cases be.... How shall I put it? unwise? You know: :ca: And: That may in its own right be an indication that all is not well concerning 5.1, 5.5 and last but not least 6.4: Work environment.