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"What is my Auditor going to want to see or ask?"

Discussion in 'Registrars (Certification Bodies) & Registration' started by Andy Nichols, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    I get asked this all the time. We see it in posts here and at other forums like the Elsmar Cove, Linkedin etc. In all reality, no-one can tell. It's like asking a conundrum: "How long is a piece of string?"

    Those who have been around organizations which have been Certified to an ISO (or ISO based) standard - ISO 9001, ISO 14001, AS9100, IATF 16949, ISO 13485 etc - may attempt to answer, based on their experience of a small (handful) of auditors. This isn't likely to be a very representative sample and, as we all know, people aren't robots.

    I have an answer, at least in part, to this timeless question: Contact your nominated auditor and ask them!

    Don't overlook this important fact: your CB and their auditors are suppliers. Pure and simple. They provide a service and, as part of that service, knowing important things which can affect the service and a successful out come (knowing what they will ask, who they will interview etc.) is crucial. So, get in touch, hold an interview and ask them their approach to a specific requirement...
     
  2. Ganesh Sundaresan

    Ganesh Sundaresan Active Member

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    I am not sure if I can answer that directly. But I can tell you, Auditors (many, if not all) get a feel and sense of Compliance if (in some cases only if) they get to hear or see certain terminologies or verbatim that are either directly used in the Standard (Ex. Context of the Organization, Avoid/Accept Risk, etc.) or something that are already getting stereotyped thick and fast like SWOT, PEST, Risk register, etc. Kind of Representativeness Heuristic (no offense intended)
    In short, standard terminology + industry stereotype = Compliance feeling
     
  3. The PPAP Assassin

    The PPAP Assassin Member

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    Depends on how big his or her ego is really. I have seen both ends of the spectrum with auditors. A really good auditor is one who is right in the middle of easy going and strict on his or her investigations. The strict ones will usually make mountains out of molehills on the smallest discrepancies. This can create extra work and headaches and can also jeopardize your certification (and sanity).. While the easy going guys will over look critical issues that could actually help a company down the road.
    I had a really easy, laid back auditor once. I was there 2 years so he audited us twice. He would come in and usually go on tangents about his civil war memorabilia, past experiences and his fountain pen collection.. Make special requests for lunch and snacks and breeze through our QMS without doing much digging. The last audit done while I was there was a recertification where he was required to have an oversight auditor with him.. This oversight auditor was the "very strict" kind, with an AS9001 background. She ripped us apart from limb to limb and found some things the other guy overlooked in the past. He sat there dumbfounded and red-faced when we asked why the issues weren't brought up in the past..
    So really it's a dice roll. Just hope you get an auditor who easy going, yet thorough and informative. If they prove to be on either bad side, you ask for a new one or find a new registrar completely.

    Hope that helps!
     
  4. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Ganesh - no answer required! I was hoping to answer a question I read/hear on a regular basis. BTW - auditors are supposed to be flexible and also open minded. If they "expect" to hear the things you describe, they don't possess either characteristic!
     

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