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Turtle diagram or process interaction chart - Making it easier for an auditor

Hello, We recently were audited by our ISO 9001: 2015 CB, it was our surveillance 1 audit. The CB wrote finding: "the process for determining the management system processes was not effectively implemented in all cases". Objective evidence: "The inputs and outputs of each process are not adequately defined in the Process Interaction Chart". The auditor requested a Turtle diagram, saying it will help him with future audits. I do not have working familiarity with turtle diagrams, I am unable to find an example of diagram showing a full QMS. Is this possible (one map of full QMS) or must I map each of our processes individually? I am with this company less than 5 months, the existing Process Interaction flowchart really does not show interaction, inputs, outputs..... I appreciate any guidance you can provide to get me started.
The auditor requested a Turtle diagram, saying it will help him with future audits.
Tell the CB you don't want this one back. Not their job to say this kind of thing. The input and outputs don't HAVE TO BE on the process interaction diagram. Do you have anything else which describes them? And, apart from anything else, if this is the FIRST surveillance, what did the other auditor look at and apparently didn't find any issue?

The NC is totally bogus, frankly. You don't determine the effectiveness of the QMS from a bloody diagram! When are these CB auditors going to get a clue? I'd be complaining to the CB, TBH...
Thank you, Andy, for your reply!

It was the same auditor from the 2018 registration audit!
The inputs and outputs are described on our Process Matrix for each Process and Supporting Process. The matrix also include risk & impact, see attached.


In which case, they should have made a deal of it then - if it were a deal, and it isn't! I'd be telling the CB not to send that auditor back.

FWIW - it's my observation that you may have made this more complex than ISO 9001:2015 requires, but that's another issue!:D
While I agree with Andy that this finding is BS, we use the turtle diagrams. But it isn't a full QMS map. We have a turtle for each process, which makes up the map. In fact, we never had a full qms process map until some craphead auditor issued a "finding." Our turtles where connected with arrows, just like the boxes on a process map. If you wanted a map, you could lay the turtles on the conference room table. Auditor didn't see it though. He's no longer welcome.

Coury Ferguson

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My question would be:

Where are the requirements for a "Turtle Diagram" to define the interaction of the processes of the Quality Management System? I don't see it as a requirement in ISO9001:2015, but maybe I am missing something here. The NC in my opinion, carry's no weight in my book.


Quality Manager
I've noticed AS9100 auditors love turtle diagrams. But yes not a requirement. I use them because I find them handy, but that's just how I'm built.
Turtle diagrams were "invented" to help teach hapless CB auditors to audit processes, not clauses. While they do provide for a little more thought behind a process, like what else do you need to run a process, they lack a key feature of auditing a process: The sequence and interaction of those other things which help a process function in control. They also lack any relationship to PDCA which is vital to ensuring the effectiveness of a process is evaluated. In my experience, they don't do either and, hence fail, as a tool to help auditors audit process effectivity.
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