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Hiring an External Auditor to perform our AS9100 Compliance Audits

W

WNQuality

#1
As a response to potential downsizing I am investigating hiring an external auditor to perform our AS9100 compliance audits rather then having this task performed by our internal auditor.
I?m curious to hear your opinions of the pitfalls and benefits to this approach.
Some additional back ground: We have 2 sites in different provinces, approximately 150 personnel at each site, no exclusions to the standard, some centralized tasks are performed in the central office but most take place locally.
I appreciate any advice you can share
Thanks
 
Elsmar Forum Sponsor
#2
As a response to potential downsizing I am investigating hiring an external auditor to perform our AS9100 compliance audits rather then having this task performed by our internal auditor.
I?m curious to hear your opinions of the pitfalls and benefits to this approach.
Some additional back ground: We have 2 sites in different provinces, approximately 150 personnel at each site, no exclusions to the standard, some centralized tasks are performed in the central office but most take place locally.
I appreciate any advice you can share
Thanks
The pros are getting someone who knows how to audit very quickly, compared to some internal folks who may need extensive coaching. On the other hand, for 2 facilities and 150 people, the cost of doing much more than a couple of audits a year - which is very typically what happens - is often a shock to management. If an outsider does a couple of audits a year then a) it's likely a non-compliance with 8.2.2 (status and importance) plus, they often do exactly what the CB auditor does and nothing more - so you're paying twice for basically the same thing.

Plan "C" could be to have someone come in a help select some candidates to train and mentor your own internal audit crew. You should be able to find a few in 150 people who are good candidates. It'll be cheaper and more effective in the long run - if you want an effective internal audit programme, not just to save money...
 

Big Jim

Super Moderator
#3
From the perspective of someone that does many internal audits for many clients I'll off my thoughts.

Pro:
If you are selective about who you pick, you can end up with someone that knows the standard far better than those in you own company.

The outside auditor has experience with many companies and can usually adapt from one to another very quickly.

Someone who audits frequently knows how to review your documents and records and knows how to interview your employees.

He knows many of the pitfalls that companies fall into and can help you find them before the CB auditor does.

An outside auditor usually knows what is happening in the quality world and can make you aware of trends and other important news that you may not otherwise have easy access to.

Probably many more. I encourage others to accept the OPs invitation to chime in.

Con:
Expensive compared to using your own people (but sometimes you get what you pay for).

Scheduling may not be as flexible.

Probably more. Again I encourage others to accept the OPs invitation to chime in.
 
T

t.PoN

#4
Agree with above.
if you go for it, then just make sure you have a criteria for selecting your auditors in case you want with an auditing companies. review their CV

Evaluate them as any other supplier.

I would make sure that the auditors signs a confidentiality statement in the contract - just in case they audit competitors or to protect your customers info.
 

dsanabria

Quite Involved in Discussions
#5
From the perspective of someone that does many internal audits for many clients I'll off my thoughts.

Pro:
If you are selective about who you pick, you can end up with someone that knows the standard far better than those in you own company.

The outside auditor has experience with many companies and can usually adapt from one to another very quickly.

Someone who audits frequently knows how to review your documents and records and knows how to interview your employees.

He knows many of the pitfalls that companies fall into and can help you find them before the CB auditor does.

An outside auditor usually knows what is happening in the quality world and can make you aware of trends and other important news that you may not otherwise have easy access to.

Probably many more. I encourage others to accept the OPs invitation to chime in.

Con:
Expensive compared to using your own people (but sometimes you get what you pay for).

Scheduling may not be as flexible.

Probably more. Again I encourage others to accept the OPs invitation to chime in.
Great points...

In addition, interview the potential candidates for auditor position just like any other candidates and ask management for input in the process.

Note: In the process... ask how they would improve the processes. You will soon start weeding out the good, the bad, and the ugly. :2cents:
 

WCHorn

Rubber, Too Glamorous?
Trusted Information Resource
#6
As a response to potential downsizing I am investigating hiring an external auditor to perform our AS9100 compliance audits ... I appreciate any advice you can share.
The company I work for has been successful in subcontracting internal audits. I believe the only con that has affected us is that the auditors we hire, all qualified as lead auditors in ISO, AS and TS, tend to be too top level. I often have to remind them that the QMS documentation has been audited to death by second and third party auditors; I know it conforms to the requirements. I have to assure they dig in to the process, especially product realization, to assure we find problems (like document control issues and divergence between actions and procedures).

Otherwise, the experience has been positive. I've found that it's not as expensive as you might think, especially if you consider the cost of constantly training new auditors to replace those that move on or are promoted, and re-training current auditors to keep them up to speed. Subcontracted internal audits provide consistency of results I didn't have with our own internal auditors.
 
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