Non Value Added Corrective Actions


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So our last TS audit was a real doozy. Turns out for the last 15 years we have been doing control plans "wrong." We got hit on a couple of items which essentially amounted to terminology and reclassification. In addition, he hit us on the classic "gage r&r" for the eyes/visual inspection used for a simple damage check. None of the "corrections" affected what we actually do. We just reworded and reworked the control plan to "fix" the offending items.

But here's the rub. All of the "fixes" need to be done to 100 control plans before he shows up again. Otherwise, there's something about ineffective corrective actions and major non-conformances. Seems like a complete waste of time. I would rather update them as they need a substantive change.

Any words of wisdom to tell the guy when he comes back?

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Ouch! Do you think he was correct about the terminology? If not, I would consider a dispute.

If so, Does the terminology affect product or service? If not, I would consider a dispute.

If so, Do these control plans get a periodic review? If not, are they reviewed at time to make the product again?

If so, I would propose to do the update of remaining control plans at time of periodic review or review when it is planned.

If this is truly a petty issue, a dispute could help. Auditors need more oversight than we sometimes get. There are two factors apparent to me here:

1) The auditor may be wrong.
2) If the auditor is correct, all the previous auditors have been wrong not to make the same finding.

The dispute process can help with both. Ideally, in addition to correcting a wayward auditor, it gives the CB something to include in annual training so as to reduce variation in auditors.


If the solution to the NC do not involve changes, then it is non-value added. I would consider contacting the CB about this.

And if you do need to revise them due to minor "incorrect terminology" (wonder if the auditor would also write you up for punctuation!?) then you should be able to do them based on an as-needed schedule ... e.g., before they are used again.


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Ok. Let give an example. We have a step called "setup." We set the tooling,. make samples, verify the samples against the print, and make any tooling adjustments necessary. The CP form wants both process and product controls. As a tooling dominant process, we don't have a lot of process controls - i.e.; specific machine settings. Those that we do have, have been compiled in our routing/traveler structure over the years. So when we put together control plans, we used the product characteristics (the print) as opposed to process characteristics (machine settings). The net result is the same. Setup, verify, adjust.

Our "corrective action" was to simply rephrase the wording into "process characteristics" and move on. (I did file an appeal but the higher ups had no interest in listening). Absolutely provided zero value. Fine. As we make new plans (or change old ones) we make the change. No real issue there. The problem being the older plans. There is no value going back and updating.


Involved In Discussions
what was the root cause you identified that led to the corrective action "simply rephrase the wording into "process characteristics" and move on"?


Involved In Discussions
Probably, 3rd party auditor incompetence :notme:


Seriously I want to know the root cause the client identified so that they came up with the corrective action like that.

It sounds to me that "simply rephrase the wording into "process characteristics" is a "correction" and not a systematic corrective action.

If the control plan describes product characteristics and process parameters inaccurately, if this is a fact - it indicates a systematic deficiency in control plan development process.

- If the CB accepts "simply rephrase the wording into "process characteristics" as an appropriate corrective action to close this NC, I agree that it is a totally no value added corrective action. But I doubt that they accept this?

- If it otherwise leads to a corrective action to fix why the control plan was developed in that incorrect way, it would not be a no value added corrective action.

If you have any good basis that the auditor understanding is wrong, you can argue at the closing meeting and refuse to sign the acceptance of the audit report/ NC report.

Cari Spears

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
That or....I've heard rumors that auditors may be getting scored on the total number of NC's they issue as a job performance metric...More NC's = better auditing?

Just rumors mind you.;)

Our registrar charges $90 per corrective action. :confused:
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