ISO 14001 - Periodic External Audit by Consultant Requirement?

Marc

Fully vaccinated are you?
Leader
I doubt there are many companies out there paying US$200+ per hour for someone.

However, consultants have long been accused of 'prolonging the agony' by dragging things out.

My 'sales pitch' to potential clients has always been as soon as you pass the audit you shouldn't need me any more.
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
Squid said:
She is basically holding us hostage. She has convinced my President that she is required for the next year to make sure we maintain the programs she has implemented. She states that ISO requires us to have external audits periodically. Are these not the ongoing surveillance audits that our registrar will do? Can our internal lead auditor (me) not do ongoing continuing audits of departments, documents and such? I guess I am asking how do I convince the powers that be that she is unnecessary at $275 per hour for 8 hours per month and then $400 per hour every quarter for a full audit? Can she claim to do a full audit, without being a certified Lead Auditor. Ok I am done whining, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Careful, Squid. Maybe I am completely wrong here, and I hope I am, but at least consider the possibility that this "lady" is in really good graces with the Prez for some reason or "has something" on the company. IMO either your Prez is verrrry gullible (in which case you should have a very easy go of it at raise time) or else he has some ulterior motive for wanting to keep this person around unnecessarily and at an exhorbidant rate of pay. Again, maybe I am wrong -- but at least consider it just in case. If there is something there you might be considered expendible for making too many waves.
 

Al Rosen

Leader
Super Moderator
Mike S. said:
Careful, Squid. Maybe I am completely wrong here, and I hope I am, but at least consider the possibility that this "lady" is in really good graces with the Prez for some reason or "has something" on the company. IMO either your Prez is verrrry gullible (in which case you should have a very easy go of it at raise time) or else he has some ulterior motive for wanting to keep this person around unnecessarily and at an exhorbidant rate of pay. Again, maybe I am wrong -- but at least consider it just in case. If there is something there you might be considered expendible for making too many waves.
I'm with Mike, it's not always what you know, but who you ????. It's also interesting that she charges more for audit hours. How was she introduced to your organization Squid? I would tread lightly.
 
Good point Mike,

I nearly made that mistake myself once, many years ago. Our boss had taken a consultant who "could do no wrong" in. I suffered, I finally protested (Because this consultant was making expensive mistakes as well as behaving like a cast iron b.... ), and nearly got myself thrown off the premises.

/Claes
 

Cari Spears

Super Moderator
Leader
Super Moderator
Mike S. said:
Careful, Squid. Maybe I am completely wrong here, and I hope I am, but at least consider the possibility that this "lady" is in really good graces with the Prez for some reason or "has something" on the company. IMO either your Prez is verrrry gullible (in which case you should have a very easy go of it at raise time) or else he has some ulterior motive for wanting to keep this person around unnecessarily and at an exhorbidant rate of pay. Again, maybe I am wrong -- but at least consider it just in case. If there is something there you might be considered expendible for making too many waves.

LOL - you kill me Mike. :vfunny: But you may have a point. So Squid - is she a hottie? :eek:

Al - good question. How did she come to be hired? Why in the world would they hire an outside consultant that they had to pay to educate?!
 
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C

Craig H.

Cari Spears said:
Al - good question. How did she come to be hired? Why in the world would they hire an outside consultant that you had to pay to educate?!

The answer to this may point the way. Something smells fishy, and it ain't the Squid.

Craig
 

howste

Thaumaturge
Trusted Information Resource
Craig H. said:
Randy, Marc, Howste, and everyone else:

Squid's situation is kinda disturbing. How often, in your experience, does this kind of thing go on in the quality/environmental world? Please tell me its rare for people to misrepresent thier credentials, ability and/or experience.

If the profession has too many snake oilers running around, we're doomed.

Craig
I don't know about the others, but when I (or anyone else in my company) finish helping a client to achieve ISO certification the company doesn't need babysitting afterwards. If we can continue to help the company in some other area, we're happy to do it of course. We have had some smaller companies ask us to do internal audits for them because it's more cost effective or convenient. Of course we're not charging them $275 ~ $400/hour either... :rolleyes:
 
S

Squid

Let me try to answer some of these questions: First she had no ties to the company prior to her being hired. She touted herself as a Quality Systems Expert and in her proposal she stated and I quote "Quality and Environmental are essentially the same, just with different guiding principles." Yes, Randy her name starts with a "Z" and no she is not a hottie, she is the version of Subway's Jared before the diet. Our Prez had no idea what ISO 14001 was or is, he just knows that Toyota required it of all their Tier 1 suppliers. SO they said Jump, and he said how high and when can I come down. Claus, I am feeling the pain here, when I make a very educated very detailed report on her misgivings, I am seen as the one making unecessary waves. I have two thoughts, well actually a 100 thoughts but two are at the forefront right now. One, if they (the company) wants to throw good money after bad, who am I to stop them. Two, Why do they even need me? I am feeling most inadequate right now. I know that the Japanese culture is very untrusting of outsiders, however.....I am meeting with the Prez this morning to discuss, so I will let you know. Keep your fingers crossed.
 

RoxaneB

Change Agent and Data Storyteller
Super Moderator
howste said:
I don't know about the others, but when I (or anyone else in my company) finish helping a client to achieve ISO certification the company doesn't need babysitting afterwards. If we can continue to help the company in some other area, we're happy to do it of course. We have had some smaller companies ask us to do internal audits for them because it's more cost effective or convenient. Of course we're not charging them $275 ~ $400/hour either...

We contracted out the implementation of our EMS, a full-time employee worked on it and helped ensure our on-going compliance to regulations, a co-op did the documentation (who later was hired by the consultant), and the consultant developed the databases, did some training, etc.

Once implemented, they left. Of course, not all infomation was conveyed to the EMS representative and, as a result of our recent internal audit, a few issues were uncovered with regards to the aspects database. The former co-op was called in to address the glitches.

Much of the documentation that the former co-op initiated work on is still sitting in limbo land as the departments attempt to adjust her work to be more suited to their operations, while ensuring that our documented (and actual) processes do not violate any regulations.

All fine and dandy to bring consultants in, but sometimes it's best if the most of the leg work is done by the people who know the job. We didn't need babysitting afterwards, but we needed a bit more training on the databases left behind.

Sooooo...that being said, lets discuss bias now. Squid's consultant will be auditing the effectiveness of her system? I realize that she's not auditing her own work, I mean she's not the one doing the jobs on the floor, but she's evaluating how well people are following her system. I forsee some temper tantrums in the near future.

Squid, I didn't check out your profile...how big is your company? If it's a small company, sometimes it can be more cost effective to bring in someone from the outside...but her prices seem a little high for her perceived lack of skill. If she had to be sent off on training (at your expense), she's still a rookie in the field, in my opinion.

For a comparison, though, we did a recent system audit to ISO 14001. Tallying up the hours of the team to do a desk study, prep, audit, prepare the report, our total cost of the team was just under $4,000 CDN. We originally did not think that we would have to do the audit ourselves (hitting our annual planning cycle, I was the lead and had to prepare for my own BMS annual review, etc.), so we asked our consultant for a quote for the audit....$10,000CDN! *faint* At that price, we decided we'd make the time for the audit...and I'd have to say (but I'm probably biased here :eek: ) that the findings were as good as what he would have found.

I'd really question your consultant about her prices and ask for a detailed breakdown of her hours. I'd also ask her to point out which clauses/shalls require her presence on the audit team? Get it all documented. I'd include the President in this loop...phrase it politely, in a curious manner, basically state it's for your own edification. This will hopefully shed some light on the manner. Maybe approach the Prez first? Ask him if he thought it would make good business sense if you were to contact her asking for this information. If he says no, then you definitely know something's not right there.
 

Cari Spears

Super Moderator
Leader
Super Moderator
Squid -

Perhaps you could print out this thread, or at least a few of the posts from the consultants here, and show it to him? But, perhaps he will not be receptive. Tough spot!
 
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