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Major Nonconformances

Discussion in 'IATF 16949:2016 - Automotive Quality Systems' started by bkirch, Aug 19, 2020.

  1. bkirch

    bkirch Active Member

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    We are audited by our certification body on a 3 year cycle (year 1 - recertification , years 2 & 3 - surveillance). This year we will have a recertification audit which will begin a new 3 year cycle. I know that within one of the 3 year cycles, if the auditors issues a noncomformity, and then finds the same type nonconformity in a different year, it can be reissued as a major nonconformity.

    My question is since we are beginning a new 3 year cycle, if the auditors were to find the same type of nonconformity that was found in the previous 3 year cycle, can it still be reissued as a major, or does this practice only apply within the same 3 year practice?

    I tried to find information on this in the IATF Rules for achieving and maintaining IATF recognition book, but didn't have any luck.
     
  2. qmr1976

    qmr1976 Well-Known Member

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    I honestly don't know and was going to refer to the 'rule book', as well to help but I would recommend reaching out to your CB to see if they could assist you.
     
  3. bkirch

    bkirch Active Member

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    Thanks. My hope is that it is documented somewhere, and I am just missing it. If I can't find the answer, I will reach out to our CB.
     
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  4. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    My take on this is driven from the customers' point of view: "If you took effective action on the nc, it wouldn't happen again". The idea that an nc occurrence "fits" into a time frame and, therefore, does/doesn't qualify as a major, is not going to be in any rules etc. It will be viewed as black/white. It fits the whole thought process of "If it happened here, you should have prevented anywhere else..." - irrespective of time frame.
     
  5. bkirch

    bkirch Active Member

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    I understand, and it isn't that I don't agree with you, but when and how major's are issued is a pretty big deal. I am surprised that this practice is not documented in the rule book. My understanding is that if a similar audit finding is found in a different year of auditing, it will not only be raised as a major, but you will also be issued another major against your corrective action process. So, you will get two majors. Again, I am not saying I disagree with the practice, but the practice sure seems like it is important enough to be documented. How else would different CB's know to follow the same process?
     
  6. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    They don't. They are far from consistent, despite rules (and that includes even the basics of ISO/IEC 17021)
     
  7. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    So I think it is any repeat. However, I have never seen them go back more than one audit (ie; single year) to review non-conformances and corrective actions.
     
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  8. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Exactly! Individual auditors cannot be relied upon to be representative of the process. The CB audit process isn't robust, capable and in control. You never know if you're dealing with common cause or special cause variation... The ONLY way to test a requirement, such as this, is to ask the CB management (with your fingers crossed)
     
  9. bkirch

    bkirch Active Member

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    I was able to find in the Rule Book, 5th Edition, section 5.1.1.5, this statement "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 conformity reissued as a major conformity."

    So, I agree, it does sound like any repeat could trigger the major. However, I think the words "effectively implemented" as is mentioned in section 5.1.1.5 of the rule book could be interpreted differently by different auditors. But, I guess, that is why we are allowed to appeal if we don't agree.
     
  10. Parag Kumar

    Parag Kumar Member

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    Not an IATF person, but

    I would consider,

    1. Was the previous non-conformity closed by the CB after verifying the effectiveness of the corrective action?

    2. Is the cause / root cause for the non-conformity appearing again similar or different from those of previous non-conformity?

    The answers to the above questions may help in deciding the degree of non-conformance.
     

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