External Auditor issue with Internal Audits

Audit Coordinator

Involved In Discussions
#1
Hi all,
We recently went through a AS9100D (Aerospace Standard) surveillance audit with success- only one minor finding in purchasing. Anyway, the auditor didn't like that we didn't clearly show that we had audited to each clause of the standard in our audits even though I had the auditors print and submit the relevant pages of the clauses for their audit. He wanted to see something specific in writing such as a note next to each clause that showed the auditor looked at this (not just a checkmark) and found evidence to assure that we were compliant, not just the pages of the relevant clauses. Well, we have a clause/process matrix that shows the process and clauses that are associated with them, but that wasn't enough either.
We are compliant in every other way with all the other elements of the standard (except for the one nonconformance in purchasing) so what can be my response to this next time or what can I do, going forward to show conformance to the standard in our audits?
I'm so frustrated as we've never had this issue in the past and I've been the Lead Aerospace Auditor for four years at my company.
I have created a checklist in which the questions or path of questioning assures that the clauses are covered but they keep telling me that checklist are a no-no.
I'm about ready to give up - so frustrated!
 
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outdoorsNW

Quite Involved in Discussions
#2
Based on your description, it sounds like the auditor is wanting something beyond what the standard requires. However, sometimes auditors have a legitimate concern buried in the text. Please post exactly what the auditor wrote so we can see if any part of the concern is valid.

Also, who keeps telling you checklists are not a good idea? What is their reason?
While checklists can be misused, they also can be good reminders to make sure an auditor does not miss anything important.
 

Audit Coordinator

Involved In Discussions
#3
First, he didn't put this in writing, this is what he said to myself and the Quality Manager. Then he gave us two days to come up with the evidence before he left on that Friday. I scrambled to "doctor" up a couple of the audits, putting remarks next to the clauses and we presented him with that and thus averted a non-conformance. Yeah, it was a bit underhanded but we both thought that his request was unreasonable when we know that our auditors check the requirements of the standard and if they thought that something wasn't met, it would have been in the audit as a finding. :rolleyes:
We've had external auditors in the past say that they don't want to see internal auditors using a checklist then others say it's ok. I just with they'd make up their minds so I don't have to be changing it every time.
I believe I'm going to have to stand up to this nonsense going forward and challenge them - I'm sick of this back and forth wishy washy crap.
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#4
I believe I'm going to have to stand up to this nonsense going forward and challenge them - I'm sick of this back and forth wishy washy crap.
That is exactly what you HAVE TO DO. The auditor feels uncomfortable? Tell him to take two TUMS :p

He is bluffing. So, and as always, be prepared to fight back with those 4 little magic words: SHOW ME THE SHALL!

He can like, dislike, love it, abhor, etc...if he can’t tie objective evidence to a failure to fulfill a requirement, at best his finding will be categorized as an observation. And, that, plus $ 3.50 buys you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. :notme:
 

Audit Coordinator

Involved In Discussions
#5
The external auditor did not give the Internal Audit program/process a finding. He did try to give one to the Internal Audit process on another point but I did stand up to him on that issue and he backed down. That was my first time of standing up to one of them so I was a bit timid but I knew he was wrong and felt I had to stand up for myself - it worked!
Going to have to grow a bigger "set" next time around.....lol. :whistle:
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#6
Don’t confuse finding with nonconformity. There are several categories of findings and nonconformity is one of them.
 

qualprod

Trusted Information Resource
#7
First, he didn't put this in writing, this is what he said to myself and the Quality Manager. Then he gave us two days to come up with the evidence before he left on that Friday. I scrambled to "doctor" up a couple of the audits, putting remarks next to the clauses and we presented him with that and thus averted a non-conformance. Yeah, it was a bit underhanded but we both thought that his request was unreasonable when we know that our auditors check the requirements of the standard and if they thought that something wasn't met, it would have been in the audit as a finding. :rolleyes:
We've had external auditors in the past say that they don't want to see internal auditors using a checklist then others say it's ok. I just with they'd make up their minds so I don't have to be changing it every time.
I believe I'm going to have to stand up to this nonsense going forward and challenge them - I'm sick of this back and forth wishy washy crap.
It is strange, moreover if it is a surveillance audit, when auditor request that, that is is when a system is implemented for the first time.
Current audit should focused,in other more important issues, considering that the system has passed several audits.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#8
Doesn't matter what the auditor likes, that's one of the 1st things I say at an opening meeting. An auditor's hopes, dreams, wished, desires, fantasies, wants and cravings are totally meaningless....What's required? Is it being done? Is it effective?

Sydney is absolutely right...I detest the word "Finding" when it's incorrectly used and it most always is....

Politely advise the auditor to "stuff" his likes.
 
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