SMMT gives Timetable for 3rd edition of rules

Howard Atkins

Forum Administrator
In the (broken link removed) news letter the following can be found:

Rules for achieving IATF recognition 3rd edition

In October the Rules for achieving IATF recognition will be reissued. The IATF project, which was initiated over one year ago, is to simplify the layout of the rules, incorporate in any sanctioned interpretations and frequently asked questions, and to add additional requirements to enhance the controls over the scheme.
The next newsletter will review the revised rules, and the implications of any changes.

The revised rules will be available to purchase at


Opportunities for Improvement

The goal of ISO/TS16949 is the development of a management system that provides for continual improvement, emphasizing defect prevention and the reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain.

ISO/TS16949 requires that internal audits are undertaken to ensure the quality management system is "effectively implemented and maintained".

When undertaking internal audits in the spirit of the "goal" of ISO/TS16949, it would seem logical that the auditor role is not just to establish compliance of the defined processes with the requirements, but to verify effectiveness or efficiency of the processes.

Auditors should be assigned so "objectivity and impartiality" of the audit can be assured and they should not be assigned to audit their own work. As such they will be a "fresh pair of eyes" and may be able to suggest areas within the process being audited where the efficiency of the process may be able to be improved.

Many organisations title these "opportunities for improvement (OFI)" (or sometimes observations).

When raised what action should be auditee / process owner take?

Again in the spirit of the goal of ISO/TS16949 the auditee / process owner should review any opportunities for improvement identified to see if it is practical and cost effective to implement actions necessary to address the OFI. In some cases the auditor will raise the OFI with good intention, but maybe without in-depth knowledge of the implications of the proposed improvement. In this case the auditee/process owner should provide evidence in their reply why actions were not taken. Typically organisations state in their audit procedure that OFI's will be followed up on the next planned audit to verify they have been reviewed and where appropriate action taken to address.

There are several potential problems with the raising of OFI's.

Firstly, when the internal audit reports are reviewed by the external auditor, OFI's may be read as nonconformances.

Here are some real examples:

"It should be ensured that the planned users of measuring devices are included in MSA/R&R activities"

It is a requirement that MSA studies are undertaken using the normal users of the equipment. The way this OFI is worded could be read that they were not, and as such should be a non-conformance.

"The scope of UKAS accreditation should be established for all external calibration providers"

Again this is linked to a requirement defined in of ISO/TS16949

And to finally make the point!

"Almost chaotic situation when stations shut down, as operators have to climb over pallets stored in front of the assembly line. The storage of adhesive canisters in front of workstations in one instance resulted in rejects due to the fact that the line was accidentally turned off when the supervisor bumped into the off lever when adjusting the machine"

With this in mind internal auditors should be mindful when writing OFI's, that, while written with good intention, they could lead to problems in external audits.

Some justified examples are:

"Consideration could be given to extending the calibration intervals/timescales for "Slip Gauges" which are used for calibration purposes only"

"Whilst the approach taken by the company is very professional, company wide standardisation of reports and presentation formats to customers could be considered as this will only further enhance the company's image"

"There appears to be an imbalance between operation 30 and operation 40 on line 2, where the operator at operation 40 spent a significant time waiting for product from operation 30"

There is the complication created by ISO9000 as it refers to audit findings as to indicate either conformity, non-conformity with audit criteria or opportunities for improvement.

The Opportunity for improvement within the ISO/TS scheme in some instances has been misused, 3rd party auditors have been found to raise OFI's instead of non-conformities. The IATF position is clear if it is not conforming then it's a non-conformity the next decision to be made is to the correct categorisation major or minor.

To address this situation IATF will provide a clear definition for OFI and guidance to its use within the new Rules 3rd edition, due for release 1st October 2008.

I would be interested in any views you have related to this, particularly related to external audits, as this is a hot topic of conversation with IATF. E-mail any comments to [email protected]

There are some other interesting items, this is a subscriber alert but I cannot find the link now


The link to the subscription for the newsletter which contains all this info is

(broken link removed)

At the bottom of the page there is a subscription option.

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