Where are the rules for when a repeat minor nonconformance becomes a major?

#1
Can someone answer a question I have had for some time? If a CB auditor issues a "minor" non-conformity and a year later at a subsequent visit discovers a similar "minor", (same clause or part of the QMS) the "minor" automatically becomes a "major"? I have reviewed the Rules and I can only find a definition of "major" and "minor" and nothing about the switching rules.
Help me, someone!
 
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Stijloor

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#2
Andy, if you look at Page 56, in the definition of a Major Nonconformity, it states that "A number of minor nonconformities against one requirement can represent a total breakdown of the system and thus be considered a major nonconformity." A repeat, such as in your example, could be viewed as 2 nonconformities. But I might be "stretching" it.

What do others think?
 

Edward Reesor

Trusted Information Resource
#3
Not directed at CB Audits specifically, but most audits would escalate a finding to a major (or higher degree of nonconformity) if a similar finding had not been corrected. Audits are designed to reveal flaws in the quality system, which would then be mitigated through some change. If the nonconformity is still present at the next audit, the corrective action plan didn't "fix" what was wrong (wrong root cause was targeted, the staff returned to previous actions, etc.). This is one of the reasons why a key piece of the process is verification that the corrective action plan was effective.

Interesting note: If they accepted the corrective action plan, why was there a similar finding the following year?
 

Sidney Vianna

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#4
It is an explicit rule in AS9101 for AS91X0 audits. We discussed this recently in a thread here where the auditor was being told by the CB technical manager to escalate several nonconformities to majors and the auditor was confused about “similarity”

I don’t have the IATF rules but it could be a case of auditors leaking requirements from one scheme to another.
 
#5
Not directed at CB Audits specifically, but most audits would escalate a finding to a major (or higher degree of nonconformity) if a similar finding had not been corrected. Audits are designed to reveal flaws in the quality system, which would then be mitigated through some change. If the nonconformity is still present at the next audit, the corrective action plan didn't "fix" what was wrong (wrong root cause was targeted, the staff returned to previous actions, etc.). This is one of the reasons why a key piece of the process is verification that the corrective action plan was effective.

Interesting note: If they accepted the corrective action plan, why was there a similar finding the following year?
No doubt. This is NOT the case for the situation I am researching however. I'm looking to find a source for a rule in the IATF requirements which would put a supplier's IATF certificate in jeopardy...
 

Mr.Ruiz

Starting to get Involved
#6
Hi Andy,

at IATF Rules 5th Edition clause 5.11.5 is the sentence that you are looking for,

5.11.5 Onsite verification of a minor nonconformity
...
In cases where the accepted corrective action plan for a minor nonconformity is found to be not
effectively implemented, a new major nonconformity shall be issued against the corrective action process
(see IATF 16949, section 10.2) and the previous minor nonconformity reissued as a major nonconformity.

The certification body shall issue a supplemental report to the client after verification of corrective action
is complete, which shall include verification details of each nonconformity.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#7
This is one of those old ones that, as far as I know, has never actually been definitively answered. I believe it is often the case that each scenario is so different/unique that trying to make a hard rule applicable in all cases would be difficult.

Some thoughts: No More Observations? Findings vs. Observations

ISO 9000 Major vs. Minor Nonconformances

Major vs. Minor Nonconformance (Finding) - Difference and Definition

But - No switching rules. Over the approximately 15 years that I was intimately involved it was always an "opinion" by an auditor, and I remember a number of times a company contested the auditor's opinion. @Sidney Vianna says:
It is an explicit rule in AS9101 for AS91X0 audits.
It would be interesting to see how that is actually written.

In part I am posting because it brings back memories of determining sample sizes during audits (E.g.: Determination of Sample Sizes when Auditing ) - As Jim said in that discussion:
There is no general requirement for audit samples to be statistically valid
so you end up with what ever the auditor "thinks" is appropriate. :2cents:
 
#10
I recall, back in the days of QS9000, a particular CB (Intertek or similar) had a contractual rules that 4 or more minors in one element of the standard made a major - but that was during the visit. It wasn't a "compounding" rule, as 5.11.5 of the rules implies.
 
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