Easy CARs for Internal Audit

#1
I work in a 3 man machine shop that became AS9100 certified last year. Our 1 year audit is coming up, and we need to do an internal audit. We are struggling to find areas where we do not meet the standard. Does anyone have any suggestions for simple CARs that we can write or issues that we can find and easily resolve so that we can successfully complete our internal audit?

When we originally designed the quality system, we thoroughly followed the standard line by line to make sure that we were in compliance. We arranged our operation to follow the system that we made and operated in that fashion for months prior to the first audit. We have continued to follow our system and have had zero quality issues with our customers. The business is a very small and simple one. The year has gone by very quickly and I honestly don't think that 1 year was enough time for things to break down to the point where there are real issues. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
 
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Randy

Super Moderator
#2
I work in a 3 man machine shop that became AS9100 certified last year. Our 1 year audit is coming up, and we need to do an internal audit. We are struggling to find areas where we do not meet the standard.

The purpose of the audit is to verify conformance so you're going backwards.

We are struggling to find areas where we do not meet the standard
That's good! That's what you're supposed to do...Meet the standard

Who told you that you had to find stuff wrong? Whoever did that, fire them and don't let them back in the door.
 
#3
Our 1 year audit is coming up, and we need to do an internal audit. We are struggling to find areas where we do not meet the standard.
Why? Did you write a requirement that said you will do an audit each year? Did anything change? Did you add any new customers, parts, suppliers or people? Did anything change? Did you have any rejections, complaints?

If your audit is using As9100D you will struggle. Your not supposed to audit to AS9100D (only) Did you audit if you are actually following your own QMS?
 
Last edited:

John Predmore

Trusted Information Resource
#4
The findings in an audit usually lie in one of three categories:
1) your procedures do not align with the standard. If your procedures were written following the standard line-by-line, maybe this is not a concern for you.
2) your operations are not thoroughly following your procedures. This category requires active searching on multiple levels.
3) your Key Performance Indicators fall short of your goals and it is not clear from the evidence that corrective actions were taken and are effective.

It is possible that a thorough audit in a reasonable length of time will find no non-conformances. The internal audit should still generate a audit report explaining which areas and documents were examined. There may be Opportunities for Improvement noted, which could be the basis for a improvement project. The outside auditor will review the internal audit report with a critical eye to assess the soundness of the internal audit activity.
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#6
As usual, there is some good advice provided above.

You are in a great position if you can take a thorough and objective look at the QMS and not find anything wrong. Follow your audit procedure just like the rest of them, and let the chips fall where they may. If your audit reports say no nonconformities, so be it. Your 3rd party auditor will hopefully confirm your observations. Good luck!
 

John C. Abnet

Teacher, sensei, kennari
Staff member
#7
anyone have any suggestions for simple CARs that we can write or issues that we can find and easily resolve so that we can successfully complete our internal audit?
Good day @QualityInAHurry ;
I have a couple concerns that I'd like to raise.

1- Yes, a "once a year" internal audit can "check the box" for the auditor. However, what does that do for you/your organization? Be selfish. ALWAYS do what is helpful and beneficial to your organization ...first and foremost (simply in an approach that will also meet the requirements of the standard).
A "once a year" audit is akin to looking at the scoreboard after the match is over. I would recommend considering how different aspects can be reviewed throughout the course of the year instead of only once/year.

2- Why would you want to write CAR for things that don't really exist? If your organization has no gaps, then it has no gaps. CAR,s for the sake of CAR,s sends a bad message to your team on the reason for CAR and, more importantly, the significance of true root cause identification and corrective action response . I can only assume if the CAR is "made up", then the problem statement, root cause identification, an corrective action are all also, "made up".

Don't create a CAR (or do anything else) to try and simply look good to the auditor. A good auditor (and more importantly, your teams), will see it as the fluff that it really is. That's a great way to jade your team and prevent them from being diligent and engaged when an actual problem does arise.

Hope this helps.
Be well.
 
#8
Thank you all for the responses. We were able to brainstorm some items for this audit last night. I certainly do not envy the position that you internal and external auditors are in for thinking of findings when it comes to small companies.

The business and quality system are in a pretty good state right now and my biggest fear was having to change something that will slow us down due to the auditors being obligated to have findings.
 

Cthames

Involved In Discussions
#9
The point of CARs aren't to prove to auditors that you have a CAR system. The point is to improve your systems. If everything is going well, you've had no customer complaints, and audits aren't finding any nonconformities, you don't necessarily need a CAR. Sure this is unusual, but if you tell an auditor that you don't have any CARs but can show 0 complaints and successful internal audits to demonstrate the lack of a need for CARs, you should be okay.

If the auditor disagrees, they won't be able to write you up without finding a nonconformity that should've fed into your CAR system. Auditors will typically find something (this is expected), so just feed whatever comes up during the audit into your CAR system and you will be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of the system next time the auditor comes back to follow-up on the previous nonconformities.
 
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