Do you seem to be reporting some of the same nonconformities from audit to audit? Isn’t that frustrating? Why isn’t the auditee fixing the problems? It may be partly your fault. Accepting weak corrective actions will lead to repeat nonconformities.
Why are organizations having a hard time taking effective corrective action? It may be they don’t understand how to perform root cause analysis. Or, it might be they simply view a request for corrective action as a distraction to be quickly dismissed so they can get back to work.
A common mistake is for the auditee is to say the root cause was “human error.” As a result, they attempt to correct the guilty person’s behavior instead of eliminating the real root cause. Unfortunately, auditors often compound the issue by attempting to conduct the follow-up audit too soon. There must be sufficient passage of time for the events or transactions to take place again, and for the auditor to have evidence showing the corrective action was effective in preventing recurrence of the nonconformity.
Auditors must clearly communicate the detected nonconformity and provide guidance on the corrective action process. Also, we should remind the auditee that a corrective action may not be required for every reported finding. It will depend on the effect of the nonconformity.
This one-hour webinar reviews the differences between containment, correction, corrective action, and preventive action. Common issues are identified and auditors are told to get tough on corrective actions. They must reject weak responses. If not, they’ll repeatedly report the same or closely related nonconformity.
A five-page paper titled, “Get Tough on Corrective Actions,” and a sample Corrective Action Request form, will be available as handouts.
All industries receiving certification and surveillance audits for their management systems will benefit from this session. The webinar will be of interest to management representatives responsible for quality management systems, department managers that receive external audits, and internal auditors that serve as audit guides.
Larry Whittington is an Exemplar Global and IRCA certified Lead Auditor, as well as, ASQ certified Quality Auditor and Software Quality Engineer. He has developed requirements, implementation, documentation, and auditing courses used by multiple training firms, and has taught hundreds of classes to thousands of students. His free monthly e-Newsletter on quality and auditing topics has been published for more than ten years and is read by thousands of subscribers.