Audit Timeline

Question

What is the ASQ recommended time frame between an auditee receiving a final audit plan and the audit commencing at the auditee’s site?

Answers

From Charlie Cianfrani:

ASQ does not have a recommendation!

From George Hummel:

This is not an ASQ requirement.  A CB generally sends an audit schedule/plan three weeks before the audit.

From Jim Werner:

Typically, the final audit plan has been agreed to by both the auditor and the auditee and it includes the date(s) the audit is to take place. This means that the audit plan includes the audit schedule in one document.  There are many books written, with examples, on this topic.  The ASQ Audit Division is a good source.

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Is Certification Revocable?

Question

If a company is ISO 9001: 2015 certified, is it revocable?

Answers

From Jim Werner:

A company can indeed have its certification revoked.  Being certified means the company has established a qualify management system that meets the requirements of ISO9001:2015.  The failure of the company to continue to meet those requirements can result in de-certification.

From George Hummel:

Most CBs will revoke a certificate if the client does not answer an audit non-conformance.  Their contract may define other instances.  The questioner should review his or her organization’s contract.

From Charles Cianfrani:

Certified companies receive surveillance audits periodically. If the company fails to maintain compliance with ISO 9001:2015 requirements, eventually (after a series of intermediary steps related to resolution of nonconformity have been unsatisfactorily pursued) their certification can be voided.

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Transition to ISO 9001: 2015

Question

We are in the process of reviewing our policies and procedures to be compliant with the ISO 9001: 2015 standard. When converting from ISO 9001: 2008 to ISO 9001: 2015, how should the version control be handled? Should we start at 0 again or move on to the next number?

Answer

I would recommend that the site does not re-number the revisions to zero.  The revision number should be used only for new procedures.

John G. Surak, PhD
Surak and Associates
Clemson, SC
A member of Stratecon International Consultants
http://www.stratecon-intl.com/jsurak.html

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Cleanrooms, Classes, and Control Charts

Question

My question has to do with cleanroom monitoring, specifically particle counts. Using ISO 14644-1: 1999, (we are still transitioning to the new standard).
We have 27 test sites in our cleanroom. Our Particle Counter takes 10 readings per minute and averages those readings into one value. This is the number we record at each of the 27 test sites. Since an ISO Class 8 Cleanroom can have no more than 3,520,000 particles greater than 0.5 micron in size per cubic meter, for the room, do you add all 27 results and compare to the acceptance criteria? Do you average all 27 results and compare to the acceptance criteria? or as long as each individual result is below the acceptance criteria we are in compliance? what makes me think you add all results together is that the acceptance criteria states: ISO Class 8 Cleanroom can have no more than 3,520,000 particles greater than 0.5 micron in size per cubic meter, for the room. Your input would be greatly appreciated!
Answer

The way for analyzing these data is very straightforward. Considering you have continuous data, the most appropriate way for accomplishing this is by using a control chart. Use the 27 readings for constructing the averages needed for a control chart. Identify control limits and respond to special cause variation only. You will know that you are in compliance as long as your control charts remain under control. If you ever find any points out of control, you may want to quarantine the product processed during that time and conduct the appropriate corrective actions. As your regular housekeeping, keep the cleanroom certification current. The same for the particle counter system calibration.

If you are new to control charts, the easiest/simplest reference I have ever found is Understanding Variation – The Key to Managing Chaos by Donald J. Wheeler.

Based on your data performance, you may also be able to identify areas within your cleanroom that perform better than class 8 (7 or better). Knowing where those areas are may be handy.

Regards,

Aura

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Customer Satisfaction

Question

The question is about 9.3.2.1 in IATF 16949. It said the input to management review shall include (f) customer satisfaction. Because that clause is supplemental to ISO 9001, 9.3.2, where C (1) customer satisfaction and feedback from relevant interested parties is inclusive, why does it repeat here? I asked to see 9.2.1 in ISO 9001 but I didn’t see any specific difference between them.

Answer

That’s a very good question, and you’re right that it’s a subtle difference.  It seems that the reference to clause 9.1.2 in the 16949 clause 9.3.2.1 makes it very specific and deliberate that the customer satisfaction being referred to must include “perception” (9.1.2) and that the customer satisfaction in management review will be derived from how “the organization shall determine the methods for obtaining, monitoring and reviewing this information”  (9.1.2).   I hope you find this clarification helpful.

Denis J. Devos, P.Eng
A Fellow of the American Society for Quality
Devos Associates Inc.
(519) 476-8951
www.DevosAssociates.com

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Clauses vs. Elements in ISO Standards

Question

What, if any, is the difference between the words “clause” and “element” in ISO standards?
Specifically, “customer shall conduct an internal audit addressing all elements of the management system.”  And, at what level is this in the standard, eg, 4 or 4.1 or 4.2.1

Answer

1) The difference between the words “clause” and “element” in ISO standards? – No difference.

2)”Customer shall conduct an internal audit addressing all elements of the management system”. –  Customers do not perform internal audits on suppliers.  If this person means that  customer requires a full QMS audit, so does the standard.  “All elements” probably means all QMS processes.

3) At what level is this in the standard, eg, 4 or 4.1 or 4.2.1 – 4 is the clause/element; 4.1.& 4.2 are “sub-clauses”

George Hummel
Voting member of the U.S. TAG to ISO/TC 176 – Quality Management and Quality Assurance
Managing Partner
Global Certification-USA
http://www.globalcert-usa.com/
Dayton, OH

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ISO Certification and Suppliers

Question

I work for a small family company that purchases items and potentially processes or packages them into heat protection materials. One of my existing customers is asking for ISO certification for some materials that I will sell to them. The material I’m trying to sell him comes from my supplier who is ISO 9001 certified, but my company is not. How can I show my customer that my supplier is ISO certified without the customer knowing who my supplier is?

Answers

The company is doing a value added process, and not a distributor.  As a result, if the customer is demanding ISO 9001 certification from the company, they need to make the decision, do they want to do business with the company? If so they need to pursue certification. If they do not want to pursue certification, they should tell the customer they do not want to pursue certification.  The customer can make the decision whether they will purchase product from the company.  I have had an experience where I did not want to do an audit with a company.  We told the customer, we will not do it.  The customer responded and came back with a reasonable proposal.  They wanted the business.

John G. Surak, PhD
Surak and Associates
Clemson, SC
A member of Stratecon International Consultants
www.stratecon-intl.com/jsurak.html

First, ISO certification is for a company’s quality management system, not for particular materials.  I would let the customer know, on company letter head, that:  “We certify that the materials we purchased are from ISO 9001 certified suppliers only.  The name of these suppliers is company confidential.”

James D. Werner
Principal Consultant
MDQC
Medical Device Quality Compliance, LLC

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