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Inputs on definition of very similar processes for multi site audit sample - IAF MD1 2018


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Hello All

I am seeking some benchmarking info based on experience or your interpretation.

It is in regard to: 4.6 of IAF MD 1 definition of "performing very similar processes/activities." Note: for multi site orgs.

Our registrar is stating that we have different subgroups because they are saying the sites are not "performing very similar processes/activities."

However, every element of the ISO standard is handled the same between the sites; they operate the same from things like training, facilities, management review, IA, excursion management, IT, databases, etc. The difference is the individual steps in between. One site has a cut process while the other does not. They may measure different product characteristics.

What this in turn causes is that we have to have TWO separate 5 day audits in each location - for a total of 10 days; as opposed to considering them part of the multi site.

I asked who/what determines "very similar processes/activities." In our scenario: the physical process/activity is different; but everything else is the same.


Sidney Vianna

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Staff member
This has nothing to do with ISO 9000 definitions. If you want meaningful feedback, you should describe in detail what processes happen in each site. Until then, the CB you are working with should be deemed correct because they believe the processes at each site are dissimilar enough not to justify a site sample approach.

The IAF MD1 2018 document is clear when it says that site sampling is appropriate if and when the processes are identical, in the case of a franchise, branches, etc...


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We did this the nth degree.

MD does not say "identical". It says: "where each site is performing very similar processes/activities"

So you are telling me (because this is the actual case) - because the steps on 1 side of the larger building are different from the steps on the other side of the building, the CB is correct and we have to register as 2 different 'sites'? Sorry, that makes no sense.

As a whole, we make a product. It takes xx amount of steps. Some happen on one side, the rest on the other side.
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To expand a little more on the scenario:

Between location 1 & 2: every aspect of the "process and activities" is the same; the only difference is what the tool does to the product.
  • All the same: Maintenance; excursion mgt, audit, finance, training, mgt review, IT, dbs, data etc.
  • Different: Tool cuts using a saw in one; tool cuts using a laser in the other.

So, yes, it indeed comes down to definitions.
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