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Internal Auditor Competency

Discussion in 'IATF 16949:2016 - Automotive Quality Systems' started by bkirch, Dec 11, 2019.

  1. bkirch

    bkirch Member

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    Based on the latest IATF sanctioned intepretation of IATF clause 7.2.3 Internal Auditor competency, "At a minimum, manufacturing process auditors shall demonstrate technical understanding of the relevant manufacturing process(es) to be audited, including process risk analysis (such as PFMEA) and control plan."

    We approach manufacturing process audits in two ways. We conduct layered process audits, and then we have members of our Quality group that perform process audits.

    For layered process audits, a standard checklist is used, and none of the questions directly reference the control plans or the PFMEA's. There are multiple layers of employees that participate in the layered process audits, some would be able to demonstrate a technical understanding of the PFMEA and control plan, but not all.

    For the members of the Quality group performing process audits, they also use a standard checklist for all of our production lines. They also perform another set of process audits in which they audit a control plan vs actual practice. PFMEA's are not audited by this layer of the Quality group. This layer of the Quality group could easily demonstrate a technical understanding of control plans, but not PFMEA's.

    We have a reverse PFMEA process which we feel shows evidence that we audit our PFMEA's, and the group involved in this activity would be able to demonstrate a technical understanding of PFMEA's.

    My concern is that we have several employees involved in what we would define as manufacturing process audits that use standard checklist, and understand what is on that checklist, but they might not be able to demonstrate a technical understanding of control plans or PFMEA's.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Layered process audits can't count as part of your IATF internal audit program. It says as much in CQ1-8. The are station/cell/line audits done by manufacturing people.

    Manufacturing process audits usually audit the Control plan, hence the need to understand PFMEA. Your auditors need to be competent in the Core Tools.
     
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  3. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    When you say "standard checklist", what does it mean?
     
  4. bkirch

    bkirch Member

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    For our layered process audits, we have what I call a "standard checklist" which what I mean is that the checklist that is used has the same questions regardless of the manufacturing ling that is being audited. I understand this isn't Ideal for layered process audits, but that is our current state.

    We also do some manufacturing process audits in addition to layered process audits, and these also use a "standard checklist", which again, I just mean that the questions are the same regardless of the manufacturing line being audited.
     
  5. bkirch

    bkirch Member

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    I am not familar with CQ1-8, but if layered process audits are not a part of of our internal audit program, I am assuming that it is not a requirement that employees who participate in them are able to demonstrate a technical understanding of control plans and PFMEA's?

    However, I am not sure that FCA or GM would say that Layered Process Audits are not a part of our Internal Audit Program. FCA and GM customer specific manuals both list their requirements per IATF clauses. So for the IATF clause 9.2.2.3 (manufacturing process audits), they both say we need to be doing Layered Process Audits.
     
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  6. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    So I would distinguish for your auditor the difference between a "layered process auditor" and an "internal manufacturing process auditor." The manufacturing process auditor is governed by IATF and has to have the stated competencies. The layered process auditor is not and only has to be competent in layer process audits.
     
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  7. bkirch

    bkirch Member

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    If this is the case, this makes life much easier for me, but I am still struggling with the thought that layered process auditors and internal manufacturing process auditors are different, and that internal manufacturing process auditors are governed by IATF and the required competencies, but layered process auditors are not. Is this in writing somewhere so that I could read and understand better. I have read the IATF standard and I have read through the CQI-8 layered audit guidlines, and I may be missing it, but I don't see information that states layered process audit and manufacturing process audits are separate.
     
  8. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    IATF doesn't require layered process audits (it is silent on the topic) -- if that is all you did, you'd probably get a non-conformance. Your customers do (and/or you decided that they have value to you). They don't need the skill set of internal auditors. IATF wants manufacturing process audits and requires the inclusion of the implementation of the PFMEA, control plan, etc. Thus, they want auditors competent in FMEA and Control plans. It's a more "sophisticated" audit.
     
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  9. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, I completely understand. It's partly because the bright spark who decided that LPAs were the best thing since sliced bread didn't understand that a well planned and conducted internal audits of a manufacturing process could find the same/more stuff...

    LPAs are, by the very nature of the way they are conducted, audits of symptoms, not systems. They don't look at plan>process>result. A well conducted manufacturing process audit will look at that sequence. (they don't in fact do that in 90% of cases). The LPA audits are done in 5-10 mins. They cannot therefore consider a depth of details that a "proper" internal audit would go into. In an LPA, if it's NOT on the checksheet, it doesn't get touched. An internal auditor would be far more aware (or should be!)
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
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