Customer Audit Nonconformity on Internal Audit Program done by Corporate QA

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USMCbryan

Guest
#1
Received the following finding during a customer audit, i.e.; "When verifyng compliance to sub clause 8.2.2 of the ISO 9001:2008 Standard - Internal Audit, it was found that the 2011 internal audit of the Quality Department was conducted by Quality personnel. Per sub clause 8.2.2 - The selection of auditors and conduct of audits shall ensure objectivity and impartiality of the audit process. Auditors sahll not audit their own work".

I agree with the auditors statement. However, my plant quality department was audited by corporate quality and hence I feel that we met the intent of the standard for objectivity and independence. Please advise.
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
Re: 2nd Party Audit of Internal Audit Program

Received the following finding during a customer audit, i.e.; "When verifyng compliance to sub clause 8.2.2 of the ISO 9001:2008 Standard - Internal Audit, it was found that the 2011 internal audit of the Quality Department was conducted by Quality personnel. Per sub clause 8.2.2 - The selection of auditors and conduct of audits shall ensure objectivity and impartiality of the audit process. Auditors sahll not audit their own work".

I agree with the auditors statement. However, my plant quality department was audited by corporate quality and hence I feel that we met the intent of the standard for objectivity and independence. Please advise.
Did you have a chance to express your perspective to the customer auditor? Second-party auditors are not bound to any specific protocols, but good auditing practices suggest the auditors should disclose the audit results and findings, including nonconformities, during something akin to a third-party exit meeting. Notwithstanding the fact that auditors and auditees might not always agree with the auditor's conclusions, both parties should have ample opportunity to present each other with their perspectives.

Now, back to your specific question, it seems to me that your arrangement has satisfied the independence aspect of the audit, but what about the corporate quality people that performed the audit? Are they competent as internal auditors? From a technicality stand, what you did was an outsourcing of a part of your internal audit process. Was that outsourced activity controlled?

And, by the way, welcome to The Cove.
 

AndyN

A problem shared...
Staff member
Super Moderator
#3
Re: 2nd Party Audit of Internal Audit Program

Received the following finding during a customer audit, i.e.; "When verifyng compliance to sub clause 8.2.2 of the ISO 9001:2008 Standard - Internal Audit, it was found that the 2011 internal audit of the Quality Department was conducted by Quality personnel. Per sub clause 8.2.2 - The selection of auditors and conduct of audits shall ensure objectivity and impartiality of the audit process. Auditors sahll not audit their own work".

I agree with the auditors statement. However, my plant quality department was audited by corporate quality and hence I feel that we met the intent of the standard for objectivity and independence. Please advise.
Sounds like a fairly typical mis-interpretation of what is 'own work', to me. Unless the Quality person who actually touched the 'work', was the auditor, then there's no problem, IMHO.
 

somashekar

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
#5
Received the following finding during a customer audit, i.e.; "When verifyng compliance to sub clause 8.2.2 of the ISO 9001:2008 Standard - Internal Audit, it was found that the 2011 internal audit of the Quality Department was conducted by Quality personnel. Per sub clause 8.2.2 - The selection of auditors and conduct of audits shall ensure objectivity and impartiality of the audit process. Auditors sahll not audit their own work".

I agree with the auditors statement. However, my plant quality department was audited by corporate quality and hence I feel that we met the intent of the standard for objectivity and independence. Please advise.
Welcome to the Elsmar cove USMCbryan ~~~

Taking inputs from all the response so far., if you have to respond back to the customer, you can give them a clear explanation of your stand. Take the opportunity to explain about the auditor competency and audited work being NOT the work performed by the auditor. There is no situation for you to take up a corrective action as I gather.
Also note that the response must be able to get the customer confidence for your continued business.
 
Last edited:

John Broomfield

Fully retired...
Trusted
#6
Received the following finding during a customer audit, i.e.; "When verifyng compliance to sub clause 8.2.2 of the ISO 9001:2008 Standard - Internal Audit, it was found that the 2011 internal audit of the Quality Department was conducted by Quality personnel. Per sub clause 8.2.2 - The selection of auditors and conduct of audits shall ensure objectivity and impartiality of the audit process. Auditors sahll not audit their own work".

I agree with the auditors statement. However, my plant quality department was audited by corporate quality and hence I feel that we met the intent of the standard for objectivity and independence. Please advise.
USMCbryan,

The customer's auditor may be incompetent or not. You have no control over this. Perhaps this so-called nonconformity was accepted because the auditor represented the customer. You may have no control over that.

Your corrective action process now kicks in.

On evaluating the report you may find that questions of adequate resourcing of the internal audit function did amount to corporate quality auditing their own work. And corrective action is required.

On evaluating the report you may find that questions regarding the effectiveness of plant quality processes did not amount to corporate quality auditing their own work. And corrective action is not required.

In other words you now have no option but for your corrective action process to finish the auditor's work. I am sure you will make sure it is done objectively, with evidence and grace.

:cool:

Best wishes,

John
 
#7
Received the following finding during a customer audit, i.e.; "When verifyng compliance to sub clause 8.2.2 of the ISO 9001:2008 Standard - Internal Audit, it was found that the 2011 internal audit of the Quality Department was conducted by Quality personnel. Per sub clause 8.2.2 - The selection of auditors and conduct of audits shall ensure objectivity and impartiality of the audit process. Auditors sahll not audit their own work".

I agree with the auditors statement. However, my plant quality department was audited by corporate quality and hence I feel that we met the intent of the standard for objectivity and independence. Please advise.
USMCbryan,
As you may be aware, processes flow horizontally cutting across the barriers of the functions and levels within the organization. If there is a process in which both your corporate QA and Plant Quality Department have tasks to be performed to accomplish a desired output / result, then I don't think "objectivity and impartiality of the audit process" could be ensured. There is a likelihood to get biased...in which case, IMHO, your customer auditor's finding may be valid
Elavarasan. M
 

AndyN

A problem shared...
Staff member
Super Moderator
#9
USMCbryan,
As you may be aware, processes flow horizontally cutting across the barriers of the functions and levels within the organization. If there is a process in which both your corporate QA and Plant Quality Department have tasks to be performed to accomplish a desired output / result, then I don't think "objectivity and impartiality of the audit process" could be ensured. There is a likelihood to get biased...in which case, IMHO, your customer auditor's finding may be valid
Elavarasan. M
Impartiality and objectivity are two human traits - nothing to do with processes or flows! If it were, an objective and impartial audit could never be accomplished...
 

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