ISO/TS 16949 CBs & Auditors not following up on the schedules

Crimpshrine13

Involved In Discussions
#1
Not sure if anyone is experiencing the same thing in the recent years - We've been ISO/TS 16949 certified since 2004, and we've been noticing more and more issues with our CB not following up on the schedules or properly managing contracts in the recent years. It may be simply the issue of our CB just not being organized well or having some sort of organizational issues.

Our CB sent us contract last spring - which was our 2nd year in the audit cycle, but this was because the contract required a revision due to the issue we had in the re-certification audit that they needed to add extension audit for our parent company overseas. At that time, the contract did not have extension audit in the 3rd year, so I asked them about it, but I'd been told that if our parent company is not certified to ISO/TS 16949, this extension audit must be done at each re-certification audit and one surveillance audit in one of the two surveillance audits (not required at each surveillance audit).

Recently, I was getting scheduled for the surveillance audit, and I'd been told by the CB that we needed to get another extension audit done again this year although we had one last year (last year was 2nd year in cycle), which is contradiction of what I'd been told last year.

I was being asked who told me that, and I said she sent me the email and forwarded the original email to her, and she said that she would look into it, but never said anything since (at this point, I do not know if it is required this year or not).

Also, in recent years, more and more TS auditors are quitting because of the difficulties maintaining auditor certification, which I believe is the same everywhere, but because of that, our CB is hiring contracted auditors outside of their company, and I find that these auditors have different opinions about some of the things compared to what the auditors that CB employs say.

Are these things happening to anyone here also?

My concern is that if similar things are happening with other CBs, it may not solve these issues by just changing the CB. I had an idea of switching the CB for years because of these issues (which seem to be getting worse), but if it's the same way with other CBs, it means nothing. I just wanted to hear other people's opinion about this.

Thank you.
 
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Golfman25

Trusted Information Resource
#2
Not sure if anyone is experiencing the same thing in the recent years - We've been ISO/TS 16949 certified since 2004, and we've been noticing more and more issues with our CB not following up on the schedules or properly managing contracts in the recent years. It may be simply the issue of our CB just not being organized well or having some sort of organizational issues.

Our CB sent us contract last spring - which was our 2nd year in the audit cycle, but this was because the contract required a revision due to the issue we had in the re-certification audit that they needed to add extension audit for our parent company overseas. At that time, the contract did not have extension audit in the 3rd year, so I asked them about it, but I'd been told that if our parent company is not certified to ISO/TS 16949, this extension audit must be done at each re-certification audit and one surveillance audit in one of the two surveillance audits (not required at each surveillance audit).

Recently, I was getting scheduled for the surveillance audit, and I'd been told by the CB that we needed to get another extension audit done again this year although we had one last year (last year was 2nd year in cycle), which is contradiction of what I'd been told last year.

I was being asked who told me that, and I said she sent me the email and forwarded the original email to her, and she said that she would look into it, but never said anything since (at this point, I do not know if it is required this year or not).

Also, in recent years, more and more TS auditors are quitting because of the difficulties maintaining auditor certification, which I believe is the same everywhere, but because of that, our CB is hiring contracted auditors outside of their company, and I find that these auditors have different opinions about some of the things compared to what the auditors that CB employs say.

Are these things happening to anyone here also?

My concern is that if similar things are happening with other CBs, it may not solve these issues by just changing the CB. I had an idea of switching the CB for years because of these issues (which seem to be getting worse), but if it's the same way with other CBs, it means nothing. I just wanted to hear other people's opinion about this.

Thank you.
My CB has gone downhill fast in the last few years. IMO, the TS auditing world is an absolute disaster. There appears to be a shortage of auditors (many quitting) and trumped up requirements. I think it sucks and am seriously considering dropping TS until they get their stuff together.
 

Crimpshrine13

Involved In Discussions
#3
My CB has gone downhill fast in the last few years. IMO, the TS auditing world is an absolute disaster. There appears to be a shortage of auditors (many quitting) and trumped up requirements. I think it sucks and am seriously considering dropping TS until they get their stuff together.
Thank you for your input. Just as I had guessed...

The cost of maintaining the certification (including the actual labor involved to maintain the documentation as they require) is far more than ISO 9001, and on top of that, all the issues related to CB that we're having to deal with... I am tired of doing this, and I'm like you, kind of considering just dropping TS altogether since we're not tier 1 anyway. But, at the same time, I feel the work that we had put into this is so much that I hate to just give up either. I'd been in this dilemma for the past few years, but it's good to know how others are thinking/feeling about their current TS certification. Thanks...
 

QualitySpirit

Involved In Discussions
#4
Hi, I think your issue is with the remote support location.

Rules say the support function needs to be audited every year if it is the design function. If it is other functions e.g. sales, policy making etc. it is ok to be audited once in either 1st or 2nd surveillance.

But Rules also allow CB to choose to audit every year even it is not the design function in case the performance at the site implies issues from the supporting function. For example, if your site seems to have issues with inputs from sale function at the remote location, you CB can decide to audit this location every year.

If the supporting function in your case is not the design function, you may ask CB what site performance data that they looked to decide that the additional audit at the support function is needed.
 

Crimpshrine13

Involved In Discussions
#5
Hi, I think your issue is with the remote support location.

Rules say the support function needs to be audited every year if it is the design function. If it is other functions e.g. sales, policy making etc. it is ok to be audited once in either 1st or 2nd surveillance.

But Rules also allow CB to choose to audit every year even it is not the design function in case the performance at the site implies issues from the supporting function. For example, if your site seems to have issues with inputs from sale function at the remote location, you CB can decide to audit this location every year.

If the supporting function in your case is not the design function, you may ask CB what site performance data that they looked to decide that the additional audit at the support function is needed.

Which, I had mentioned the need for surveillance audit in the 3rd year (because it was missing from the contract), but the CB said it was not needed every year. If it is in fact a mandatory requirement to be audited each year (which in our case is the tool design extension audit), the information they were giving to me last year including the contract was entirely wrong. They got us into trouble for not audited for extension for years (since 2004) in re-certification audit in 2014, which I had complained that they did our readiness review, certification audit, re-certification audits, and many surveillance audits in between and never caught us. They say that we should have known, and they may be right a little bit, but I feel very uncomfortable working with the CB's technical team, just starting to wonder if they understand/interpret the standard correctly.

The CB had told me that they'd look into it, then no words from them for two weeks already. Just have to think that their technical team and customer service are neglecting their clients.
 

QualitySpirit

Involved In Discussions
#6
Hi,
I have also seen a lot of issues regarding remote supporting functions. To me it seems the standard (IATF rules) itself is not clear at all for this regard. And different CB's under different oversight offices have some different interpretation.

I think this will be clearer in the near future as there should have been a lot of complaints to the IATF regarding this.

For you case, did you submit in an official complain letter? You can even send your CB - 8D report, they should be obliged to respond.
 

Crimpshrine13

Involved In Discussions
#7
Hi,
I have also seen a lot of issues regarding remote supporting functions. To me it seems the standard (IATF rules) itself is not clear at all for this regard. And different CB's under different oversight offices have some different interpretation.

I think this will be clearer in the near future as there should have been a lot of complaints to the IATF regarding this.

For you case, did you submit in an official complain letter? You can even send your CB - 8D report, they should be obliged to respond.

Thank you for your reply. I agree that IATF needs to clarify the rules more so that anyone can understand their languages.

I had not submit a complaint letter to the CB regarding the scheduling and technical team not responding, but I probably have to do so if they do not respond by the end of this week (which they said that they would reply by Friday).
 

Crimpshrine13

Involved In Discussions
#9
You can contact IATF (IAOB) here: http://www.iaob.org/
Thank you!! I will wait for the word from the CB since they said that they will respond by Friday, but if I don't hear from them, I might just say if the things are not getting done in a proper way in a timely manner, I would need to report to IAOB, which may be a big headsup that they might finally get their act together, but if they don't, I will really report to IAOB because it is already creating a big problem with our 3rd party audits...
 

Crimpshrine13

Involved In Discussions
#10
Re: ISO/TS 16949 CB Breach of Contract?

Ok, so I started this thread in May, talking about how our CB is not scheduling the audits well, then I started talking about how incompetent they were and they are talking about different things this year compared to what we agreed on the contract last year.

We have a process design that is done at our parent company (remote location). My understanding is that this remote location needs to be audited in every surveillance audit and re-certification audit unless they are ISO/TS 16949 certified; however, 3rd year's remote location audit was missing from the contract. When I received this contract, I questioned them why remote location audit was not included in the 3rd year, and they said that this did not have to be audited every year, only at every re-certification audit and at one of the two surveillance audits. After I received this response, I signed off on the contract (below is the contract schedule).


YEAR**********TYPE OF AUDIT*****************MAN-DAYS
02************Surveillance Audit***************1.625
02************Extension to Scope Audit*********1.0
02************Surveillance Accreditation Fee***1.0
02************Off Site Planning Surveillance***0.5
03************Surveillance Audit***************1.625
03************Off Site Planning Surveillance***0.5
03************Surveillance Accreditation Fee***1.0


This year (last month), they came back to me and said that they had to audit remote location first, then us, so our audit will be sometime in August because the remote location will be audited first. It came to me out of no where, as if this person (the same person in customer service) had no knowledge of the contract I signed last year. I disagreed and said that she told me that it was not needed in the 3rd year, and the contract does not have it. I told her that I asked her about the remote location surveillance audit in the 3rd year and she was the one who told me that they did not have to do the remote location audit in the 3rd year. I had the copy of the original email and contract, so I sent it to her. Then no response for a few weeks.

Then two weeks later, she told me that their technical team is informing her that they did not have to go back to the remote location for surveillance this year but she said that she was going to send me the official notice again in the following week. No words came from them for 1 month.

All of sudden, today, they are now telling me that because they are not auditing the remote location, they have to audit for 2.5 days at our location (our normal surveillance audit is 1.5 days + documentation review of 1 hr)! This was not on the contract and they are keep changing their schedule each time they talk to us! She said:

Since the time on site is based on the entire certification, the requirements for the annual surveillances are 2.5 days total. We are not required to visit the remote location this year…but we do need to make the total time on site is audited. That being said the audit duration in the USA will need to meet the requirements, and I have confirmed this with both the assessor and technical department.
This sounds to me that they are trying to cover up their error so they won't get in trouble with IATF (so at least they can say that they spent enough hours needed for the audit), and at the same time that they are covering their butt since it was not on the contract. But, to me the contract is a contract. I do not agree they are charging us for the additional day if that is what they are going to be doing.

I think it's the breach of contract by our CB, but I want to hear what other people might think of this situation. Maybe I really should change CB. I am in a dilemma here. If CB is not doing what they are supposed to be doing, we can lose our certification (which I don't think is right), but I sometimes feel like it is worth reporting to IATF (IAOB). Does anyone have a good solution or idea to this?
 
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