Is it okay to disagree with your auditor?

It is okay to disagree with an auditor.

ABSOLUTELY. Auditors are human beings and sometimes they don’t understand the way you are doing things so you need to make them understand your processes.

Here is a great example I was auditing a company they had job descriptions and group training records but I wasn’t seeing how they showed an employee was competent in the job they were doing. After a while and several employees later, they told me there was a training matrix which showed the level of competency each employee was at in their positions. But because I did not ask to see ‘the training matrix’ no one was showing it to me. Sometimes an auditor does not speak the same language as you but if you have a good auditor, they should keep asking you questions to hopefully get the answer they need.

Looking for you to be compliant

An auditor is looking for you to be compliant to the standard, sometimes they are asking for certain things, they aren’t sure what you have named the document so it might take a while. Don’t get nervous just keep showing the auditor what documents you have.

Tell your auditor to go ahead and write a nonconformance report

If your auditor says they are going to write a nonconformance ask your auditor, what section of the standard will they be writing the nonconformance against? Take the time to read that section of the standard then look at your internal audits also previous audit reports and see what the auditors wrote under that section. This might help you see what documents were looked at under this section of the standard. Then show your auditor what previous auditors accepted.

If you show your auditor proof and the auditor stills writes the nonconformance ask your registrar what their appeal process is, this means you do not agree with the nonconformance. Once your registrar has all the evidence, they need they will make a determination if the nonconformance is legitimate or not. Most of the time the registrar will withdraw the nonconformance.

Should you Invest in Training your Employees?

Should you Invest in Training your Employees to be ISO9001, AS9100, ISO13485 or IATF16949 Internal Auditors or Hire a 3rd Party Auditor?

My experience has been if you train your employees to be internal auditors usually, they take the experience and run. They stay at your company a year or two then start looking elsewhere for more money and/or better benefits. When your trained internal auditors, your employees are auditing their friends and find their friend aren’t following the process your internal auditor doesn’t state the process is not being followed in their internal audit report. Your internal auditor does not write a corrective action so no one knows there is an issue. Therefore, your internal audits are not effective.

Do you struggle to keep your internal auditors after they are trained?

If your employee goes through Lead Auditor training, they even more valuable to your company and other companies out there looking to hire someone to lead their Quality Management System (QMS). Chances are you probably don’t want to send your employee to a Lead Auditor course.

Hire a 3rd party auditor to do your internal audits.

Your employees get the experience of internal auditing then after a year or two they leave your company. Now you are faced with are you going to pay for someone else to be trained or is it cheaper to hire a 3rd party auditing firm like then continue to train employees to audit your system. Also, when you hire a 3rd party to do your internal audit, you hire a fresh pair of eyes that are not friends with anyone.

Regardless if your company is ISO9001, AS9100, ISO13485 or IATF16949 every standard requires you to perform internal audits. Who does your internal audits are up to you. Will you choose to continue training employees or go out and look for a 3rd party auditor?