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  Int Audit - Help Needed

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Author Topic:   Int Audit - Help Needed
Wendal
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posted 13 July 2001 03:55 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am having a problem getting help with our internal auditing program. We originally started out with four auditors (plus 2 backup), and all that are left is ME. We have a surveillance audit coming up in september. I am not getting alot of support from management. They say they know I need help, but don't know what to do about it. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to motivate some others into helping out? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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Randy
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From:Barstow, CA, USA
Registered: Jun 1999

posted 13 July 2001 05:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randy   Click Here to Email Randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Document...Document...Document, and then let them fall on their collective butts.

Make your management aware of the issues, continue to do your job, and hope for the best.

[This message has been edited by Randy (edited 13 July 2001).]

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Al Dyer
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From:Lapeer, MI USA
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posted 14 July 2001 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Al Dyer   Click Here to Email Al Dyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Agree with Randy,

DOCUMENT all of your activities, if possible use email with response required and save those. Even if you don't get responses keep all memos and warnings. You are just one person and cannot do the whole job. Make sure the areas you are responsible for are covered.

The auditor will likely pick up on the lack of commitment and act accordingly. When you get your majors or minors you will at least have your butt covered.

Good luck!

ASD...

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energy
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Posts: 308
From:New Britain, CT
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 16 July 2001 10:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for energy   Click Here to Email energy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree. Document all attempts to keep the effort going. I, too, feel like I'm going it alone. But, using e-mail and it's tracking features, has been useful. The cooperation/participation has actually increased since I have produced past records, such as e-mail deleted without being read, memorandums to individuals who claim they knew nothing about an issue and memos regarding people's short term memory loss topics discussed by the Steering Committee. When asked the question, "Is your documentation and record keeping of all this stuff an ISO requirement?", my answer is pure and simple. "Not really. When this effort collapses, which I feel it will because of the lack of participation, my as* is covered. No-one is going to be able to blame this Mgt. Rep. for the Company's inability to acquire ISO certification." Documenting everything also has a soothing effect on your state of mind, particlarly when it comes to areas where you, personally, cannot change things. Don't forget to include your CEO/General Manager on all your correspondence. People respond more when distribution isn't just limited to those involved and they feel that top management is looking.

energy

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ISO GUY
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Posts: 90
From:Rochester, NY
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 16 July 2001 11:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ISO GUY   Click Here to Email ISO GUY     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wendal I know where you are coming from. I agree with what the previous posts say and document your efforts and your Registrar will see that there is no support. However, if you want to get these trained internal auditors to help heck to something as simpile as buying them lunch, recognize them company wide something simpile like that goes a long way. Just MHO.

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energy
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From:New Britain, CT
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 16 July 2001 01:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for energy   Click Here to Email energy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ISO GUY,

Our internal auditors are recognized throughout our small company. No lunch or other tokens of appreciation would matter. They were "chosen" by Management, with no possibility of parole. The main problem is finding time to do the things that an Auditor must do. Read and understand the procedures, prepare for an audit, perform the audit and write reports. The personnel "chosen" were selected because of their above average intelligence, for our facility, an eye for detail and ability to work without supervision. The jobs they perform are in areas of Accounting, Production Control, Finance, Engineering, Design and Integrated Systems Management. They feel that they have enough to do without ancillary duties. There are people who want to do it, but, they too are assigned tasks that are lengthy and time consuming. I know it's Management's responsibilty to allot time to do Internal Auditing, and they do. It only occurs when I insist it's time. This is done during Steering Committee Meetings and regular management meetings. In other words, when I start crying enough, it will happen. Then the Audiors start crying about not enough time. Armed with managements decision, I'm forced to be the bad guy and "direct" them accordingly. Hey, that's what us QA Mgrs. do anyway. As of now, they are not allowed to say no to being an audior. If that time comes, it will only be allowed under extreme "hardship". It's a rough world. Tsk Tsk

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ISO GUY
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Posts: 90
From:Rochester, NY
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 16 July 2001 03:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ISO GUY   Click Here to Email ISO GUY     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Energy,

I was just thinking of ways that he might be able to get people to want to do the audits. IMHO, I don't think Management telling people they have to do the internal audits is very effective, becuase they will more than likely go into the audit with the attitude that they want to just get it done and over with and not do a very good job. I would rather have people who want to do the audit, but like I said before thats just MHO.

Energy, just curious how does it work with Management telling people they must do audits?

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E Wall
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Posts: 114
From:Columbus, GA USA
Registered: Jun 2001

posted 16 July 2001 04:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E Wall   Click Here to Email E Wall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You might try this - In your Audit Schedule assign a lead auditor and let them contact others to 'assist' as needed. This provides a concentrated effort that helps keep the audit schedule flowing in timely manners.

We allow for flexibility of style so long as results are reported in a standard format and they all keep clear consise notes (goal: anyone should be able to read & recreate what they have done or pick up from where they left off if need be).

But without solid Mgmt support to apply the 'priority' to the auditing you're sunk.

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E Wall
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Posts: 114
From:Columbus, GA USA
Registered: Jun 2001

posted 16 July 2001 04:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E Wall   Click Here to Email E Wall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A little humor never hurts either:

Arguing with an ISO auditor is like wrestling with a pig in mud . . .
Sooner or later you realize the pig enjoys it!

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energy
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Posts: 308
From:New Britain, CT
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 16 July 2001 04:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for energy   Click Here to Email energy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ISO GUY,

Just like you said. Let's get it over with so I can back to my real job! As far as Management directing the work force. Believe me, there is only one option. My way or the highway. We are really at the beginning of our ISO program, just finished Auditor Training and will begin some practice Audits this week. So, the long term effect isn't known. My guess is that certain people will eventually be replaced if they don't perform. They won't lose their real jobs. These people are self starters and valuable where they are. Some people are just not cut out for this Auditor thing. Currently, I have 7 auditors, plus myself. That's enough for a rotation scheme and to eliminate any conflict of interest.

energy

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Marc Smith
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From:West Chester, OH, USA
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posted 16 July 2001 05:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How many people in your company and how complex (what do you make)? You could probably make a good case for outsourcing your internal audits. By the time you go through all the hassle, peoples time in general, time spent on 'drop out' auditors and such, outsourcing would probably be cheaper.

In addition, because the folks who you outsource to are not 'company' employees, they often get the attention needed and 'get the audit done' without all the hassle.

Also see https://elsmar.com/ubb/Forum13/HTML/000037.html and https://elsmar.com/ubb/Forum13/HTML/000041.html and (although it's a bit dated) /level2/4_17.html

[This message has been edited by Marc Smith (edited 16 July 2001).]

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Marc Smith
Cheech Wizard

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From:West Chester, OH, USA
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posted 18 July 2001 12:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SPAM ALERT:

Beware the following SPAM which is circulating. It's obvious from the wording it's bunk - pure come-on. He says:

-> In recent months, I have been hearing that more
-> organizations areoutsourcing the Internal Audit function.

'Zat so?? You're a bit late in 'hearing about this', sir.

If this guy/company is so out of touch that he's just now 'seeing the light', I wouldn't want him working for me.

**********************************
Received: from 66-44-67-155.s409.tnt7.lnhva.md.dialup.rcn.com ([66.44.67.155] helo=erols.com)
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 12:12:56 -0400
From: Ira Epstein
Subject: ISO 9001 Internal Auditing

Good Morning,

In recent months, I have been hearing that more organizations areoutsourcing the Internal Audit function. Based on some conversations andmy experience, I am beginning to see the benefits of farming out thiscritical process. Some of these benefits include:

You can save on internal auditor training.
You don't have to take part time auditors off their regular jobs.
You get professional, experienced, certified outside auditors.
You get a broader view from outside auditors.
You are guaranteed auditor independence.
The cost of outside auditors is offset by savings in training,
audit planning, auditing, audit follow-up, etc.
You get consulting advice regarding corrective actions and
improvements.
You are better able to refute registrar findings and
recommendations.
You do not have to train your auditors on "process auditing" as
required in ISO 9001:2000.
You can supplement your internal audit team.
Outside auditors often have greater credibility with management.
Outside auditors often have greater creditability with auditees.
Outside auditors often operate more effectively and efficiently.
Outside auditors often can be value added during organizational
down sizing, organizational expansion and reorganization.

To find out more about outsourcing Internal Audits, please contact me.

Ira Epstein
Value Management Associates
703-239-9670

****************************

Ira, I didn't appreciate the SPAM. I get enough as it is.

I will agree with many of the positives of outsourcing internal audits stated, however.

703 is in the Arlington, VA USA area, folks. Beware. If they have to resort to SPAM to get clients, I consider them very suspect.

[This message has been edited by Marc Smith (edited 18 July 2001).]

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Al Dyer
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From:Lapeer, MI USA
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posted 18 July 2001 07:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Al Dyer   Click Here to Email Al Dyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the right company an external auditor is the way to go. In past lifes I have utilized such services with good results.

The way we worked it was that I, as the MR, would control the schedules and possible corrective actions and follow through with those.

I still have a concern about the Management Representative being the auditor in a company. In past experience I could sit at my desk and do the audit because I knew all of the "holes" in the system.

And at the time we hired a gentelman that worked for $45/hour. I knew him before but it was still a good deal and let people keep up with their daily duties.

As I said, each company is different and the subject should be brought up with the registrar and the auditor. Hopefully this occurs before signing a contract with a registrar.

I think I'm at my word limit for the night!

ASD...

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energy
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Posts: 308
From:New Britain, CT
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 19 July 2001 09:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for energy   Click Here to Email energy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
AL,

I agree that the Mgt Rep. should limit his Auditing function. Not because he/she knows all the holes in the system. As QA MGR, I am mostly an auditee for most procedures as they affect Quality. Back to knowing all the holes. As we begin our first Audits at this sparkling facility, every auditor (except me) is new to the game. When the questions were submitted, yes, they come to me as Lead Auditor for review, I add questions that I know will result in findings that are NC's. Knowing the holes is a good thing because you try to plug as many as you can. Granted, I get to see the questions before the audit. But, my job is to try to enhance our Auditor's training with real life auditor situations. Some questions do lead me to review sections of the procedure for the correct response. Who wouldn't? I recently added 4 more questions to ask me regarding their original question. All will result in findings. This is practice, practice, practice leading up to the real Audit. God, Connecticut's beautiful right now. Later.

energy

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Marc Smith
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From:West Chester, OH, USA
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posted 19 July 2001 09:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Call me the antagonist today. I see nothing wrong with the management rep auditing. Most opposition comes from 'the appearance of a conflict of interest'. ISO dealt with this issue by changing the wording from the 1994 version to say (ISO 9001:2000, 8.2.2, paragraph 2): "...Auditors shall not audit their own work..."

-> Knowing the holes is a good thing

If you're attacking known problems with internal audits you are not, in my opinion, auditing. You are trying to take a known problem and publicise it in hopes that the publicity will cause it to be corrected. At best, this should be a function of the corrective action system. If you know 'the holes', you should be correcting them without the 'excuse' of an audit.

The very fact that you state you know where the 'holes are' is troubling. My question would be: "Since you admit you know the problem (the 'hole') exists, why did you wait to target the problem through an internal audit? Why did you not address this through your corrective action system when the problem was first identified?"

[This message has been edited by Marc Smith (edited 19 July 2001).]

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energy
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Posts: 308
From:New Britain, CT
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 19 July 2001 01:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for energy   Click Here to Email energy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Marc,

Even when I was posting to that topic, I expected someone to express concern that I knew where we were deficient and hadn't dealt with the issues beforehand. You're right, I want them published to spur activity in certain areas. Corrective Action Requests, responses, time frames to correct, etc., get high visibility. Most of my N/C's involve controlled documents that are referenced in our procedures, but not yet released. For example, in our Internal Auditing Procedure, I reference a Management Reponsibility Procedure that is before the Steering Committee and others for review. Also, there is reference to an Internal Audit System Checklist that has not been completely developed and Corrective/Preventive Action procedure with the same staus of completion. We had to start somewhere. I preferred the procedure before the references. The other way, I would be revising each time someone determined what a "controlled document" should be. There were no written procedures when I got here. Because we are "playing" at becoming certified, practice if you will, we are under no pressure to release everything at once and it will be a good exercise for the Auditors. As you probably deduced from many of my posts, ( I know you read everything) I'm pretty much alone in this pipe dream. Anything I can do to get management's and other's attention helps me. When MGT asks why this isn't done, or that, I get to point the polite finger back at them for their lack of response. After all, I'm not writing the findings. Their selected Auditors are. I know it's a bit strange, but so is this place.
I know you will miss a week of my posts. Vacation starts Sat AM. Maybe I'll bring the draft proposal ( not released yet, either) of the QPM to read at the beach. NOT!!

energy

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Al Dyer
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From:Lapeer, MI USA
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posted 19 July 2001 05:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Al Dyer   Click Here to Email Al Dyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Marc,

That is why my last line was somewhat of a disclaimer. Yes I knew where the holes in the system were and issued corrective actions to no avail. I then decided that maybe an "outside" person would carry more weight and possibly get more action and wake up management.

In the end, they didn't and I left. It was basically an adverserial position. I was brought into a system where lower level management didn't buy in to the systems that were set up.

I also believe that the root cause was the ownership that just wanted a certificate to hang on the wall. I really don't blame the lower level Managers, they were putting in 10-12 hours a day just ensure that machines were running and parts got out the door. At that time the plant had been running 24 hours a day seven days a week.

When I left, our registrar would nor re-certify us so the owners went to PJ and within 4-6 weeks had their certificate back on the wall.

I digress and vent,

ASD...

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Marc Smith
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From:West Chester, OH, USA
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posted 19 July 2001 06:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
-> I also believe that the root cause was the ownership that
-> just wanted a certificate to hang on the wall.

One must keep in mind that's all 95% of the companies registering to ISO 9001 want when you get right down to the truth of the matter.

[This message has been edited by Marc Smith (edited 19 July 2001).]

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energy
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From:New Britain, CT
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 20 July 2001 08:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for energy   Click Here to Email energy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It figures that I would be in the 5% who don't. I will be audited in an hour by our Internal Auditors. It's a start!

energy

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