Why is My CB Auditor Driving a Cadillac?

Sustaining Edge Solutions, Inc. Newsletter

Performance Improvement Solutions for Your Business                                   April 2011


This Month
* Why is My CB Auditor Driving a Cadillac?
* AS9100C – July 1, 2011
* ISO/IEC 17021:2011-“Conformity Assessment”
* In the News
* A3 – One Page Report
* Training Courses

Lunch and Learn
May 19, 2011

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Our newsletters provide information on business management systems ISO 9001, AS9100 Aviation, Space and Defense, ISO/TS 16949 Automotive, ISO 27001 Information Security, ISO 13485 Medical Devices, ISO 14001 Environmental, and others.  This includes process auditing techniques and process improvement methods Six Sigma, Lean Enterprise, and other topics of interest to our readers.

If you have any questions regarding the content or have a topic of interest for a future newsletter, please let us know.

Why is My CB Auditor Driving a Cadillac?

All organizations that are registered to management systems standards such as ISO 9001 or AS9100 have a Certification Body (CB), also known as a Registrar.  The CB is responsible for certifying the company and conducts onsite audits on a semi annual or annual basis.   Many of these CB auditors travel from other states to conduct surveillance or recertification audits.  Client contractual agreements made (usually covering a three-year period) state that  the auditor will use the most “cost effective” methods for travel.

If you’re a quality systems professional with at least twenty years of experience, you remember the past stories about auditors receiving that special treatment, high dollar dinners, special gifts and fancy hotels. I can picture many of you reminiscing right now, remembering those days of gratuitous behavior.  I certainly do. 

Many organizations are also aware that the majority of these auditors are working for the CB’s as a contract auditor- not a full time employee. The majority of CB’s do ensure that their auditors follow specific rules about spending, and they do a good job reviewing receipts and ensuring they comply with specific rules.

However, every so often we still hear about that one bad apple. A client of ours recently had an out-of-state auditor from a global CB arrive in a rental Cadillac (luxury car, average daily rate $110-$160). The auditor was from the East Coast (no prejudice, I was born there) flying to the West. The company he was auditing was a number of miles away from a major city or hotel service. He inquired prior to arriving where the “nicest hotel” could be found. Unknowing to our client, the auditor also stayed at a high price hotel and we can only imagine what the food bill amounted to. Remember, all auditor travel costs are charged to and paid for by the client.

We do know that this occurrence nowadays is a rarity, but be aware that it’s totally acceptable to question any charges that you feel go beyond the conventional.

As a management systems consulting and training firm, we deliver for our clients services necessary for them to reach a level of successful certification. Consulting firms that provide these services are familiar with many CB’s and do provide their clients information about them.

Under the auspice of continuous improvement, we have queried our clients over the years about their CB experiences with regards to expectations and services provided. Problems range from administrative – leaving messages with no return call – to prescriptive auditors – issuing non-conformances for items not required or even identified within the Standard. For example, management review requires signatures of attendees.

Examples of further comments received include:

  • Customer service person does not know how to reach the auditor when client calls.
  • Customer service person is not trained in the basic understanding of the subject standard inquiry or application process.
  • Client e-mails documentation for review to auditor with Gmail account and the e-mail is returned because file is too large.
  • Client receives advanced audit schedule and auditor does not follow-up with a call to confirm audit arrival, or if any questions; one week or even the day prior to the audit.
  • Auditor receives numerous calls from other clients while auditing and makes the client management team wait to begin the closing meeting while conversing with another client.

According to Quality Digest Magazine, the most important registrar customer satisfaction items are:

  1. Was the audit fair?
  2. Was the registrar very responsive?
  3. Was the auditor professional?
  4. Was the auditor technically qualified?
  5. Was the auditor objective?
  6. Did the auditor understand how to apply ISO Standard to your business?
  7. Was the auditor a good communicator?
  8. Was the auditor realistic about applying ISO Standard to your company?
  9. Did the registrar return calls in a timely manner?

According to the Quality Digest Magazine report, most companies are satisfied with their registrar.  However, taking the time and making the effort to select a registrar, and interviewing the auditor is worth the investment as you will reap the benefits for years to come.

AS9100C Aviation, Space and Defense – July 1, 2011

Are you an AS9100B certified company?  The DEADLINE FOR TRANSITIONING to AS9100C begins July 1, 2011.

If your surveillance or re-certification audit is going to take place after July 1, 2011, You MUST have completed the TRANSITION of your Documented Quality Management System or you will find yourself answering a plethora of corrective action requests from your Certification Body.

This new standard is not just for aerospace (i.e. aviation and space). It is also includes “land and sea based defense applications” standard. By moving to AS9100C, suppliers will find it easier to compete in the international marketplace in all three categories: aviation, space and defense.

Key New Definitions Include:

  • Risk: “An undesirable situation or circumstance that has both the likelihood of occurring and a potentially negative outcome.”
  • Special requirements: “Those requirements which have high risks to being achieved thus, requiring their inclusion in the risk management process.”
  • Critical item: “Those items having significant effect on product realization and the use of products that require specific actions to ensure they are managed.” 

New Requirements Include:

  • Customer Focus/Satisfaction: Measuring product conformity and on-time delivery performance and planning for appropriate actions when planned results are not achieved (clauses 5.2/8.2.1)
  • Project Management: Planning and managing product realization in a structured and controlled way to meet requirements at acceptable risk (Clause 7.1.1)
  • Risk Management: Implementing a risk management process covering: responsibility, criteria, mitigation and acceptance (Clause 7.1.2) 

Looking for assistance? Contact us for all your gap assessment, documentation development, and training requirement needs. Don’t wait, timing your company’s upgrade to AS9100C requires careful planning and execution.

For complete details on all the changes to the standard, download

IAQG 9100:2009 Revision Overview (Revision 3) by the IAQG 9100 Team, May 14, 2010. PDF (630k)

ISO/IEC 17021:2011 – “Conformity Assessment”

Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems, is intended to increase trust in certificates attesting conformity to management system standards (MSS) such as ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO 14001 (environmental management) and ISO 22000 (food safety management).

Certificates to these and other management system standards are widely used in global markets to establish confidence between business partners and between organizations and their customers, to qualify suppliers in supply chains, and as a requirement to tender for procurement contracts.

The new edition adds new requirements developed in response to market feedback on the use of the first edition. The new requirements provided in ISO/IEC 17021:2011 relate to the competence of the auditors who carry out certification and to the way in which they are managed and deployed. Certification bodies that use the new edition will be able to ensure competent audit teams, with adequate resources, following a consistent process and reporting audit results in a consistent manner.

ISO/IEC 17021 is also being published in an unofficial marked-up edition highlighting the new and deleted text. The new edition is to be reviewed one year after it has been in use to decide whether any first-edition requirements need modifying to align them further with the new requirements.

ISO and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF)-the association of national accreditation bodies that declare the competence of certification bodies-have agreed on a two-year transition period from the date of publication of ISO/IEC 17021:2011 for certification bodies to bring their operations and processes in line with the requirements of the new edition.

For more information visit ISO News .  ISO/IEC17021:2011 can be purchased at the ISO Store.

In the News

ASQ Creates Healthcare IT Tool

A significant step has been taken in ASQ’s efforts to help implement positive change as health information technology (HIT) moves toward “meaningful use.”  ASQ developed a web-based assessment tool to assist healthcare providers in creating systematic improvements in their care and practice.

With this tool, healthcare providers can assess their current level of HIT maturity as a baseline.  They can then obtain process guidance for evolving their HIT, and measure and report on their progress over time.  The tool supports all categories of providers, from small EP practices to large, multi-location health care systems.

For more information visit ASQ Media Room.

Automotive Webinars from Siemens

Product life-cycle management (PLM) is the process of managing the entire life cycle of a product, from its conception, through design and manufacture, to service and disposal. Siemens PLM Software shares strategies for improving PLM at your company through the following webcasts (no cost, registration required).

April 7:  The Automotive Industry: Making Better Product Development Decisions.

April 21:  Quality in Today’s Automotive Supply Chain. Featuring Presentations by Ford and J.D. Power.   

A3 – One Page Report

What is it:

A3 is a one page structured problem solving tool that forces the problem to be focused on just a one page report, usually a A3 size paper sheet although any size paper can be used. Using this method helps to focus in on the problem and forces one to be concise making the reports easy to read, easy to follow and an ideal format to present results to management.

Why use it: Most problems that arise in organizations are addressed in superficial ways.  Meaning, we work around the problem to accomplish our immediate objective, but do not address the root causes of the problem so as to prevent its recurrence. By not addressing the root cause, we encounter the same problem or same type of problem again and again.

Where to use it: For problems that require in-depth root cause analysis. The A3 Process helps people engage in collaborative, in-depth problem-solving. It drives problem-solvers to address the root causes of problems which surface in day-to-day work routines.

How to use it: A3s are simple to use. An A3 is composed of a sequence of boxes arrayed in a template. Inside the boxes the A3’s “author” attempts, in the following order, to: (1) establish the business context and importance of a specific problem or issue; (2) describe the current conditions of the problem; (3) identify the desired outcome; (4) analyze the situation to establish causality; (5) propose countermeasures; (6) prescribe an action plan for getting it done; and (7) map out the follow-up process

Example of an A3 Report – Customer Complaints.

Training Courses

To see the course description, schedule, and on-line registration click on the course title below. We deliver onsite training for these courses and customized training to fit your specific needs.  We offer group discounts.


View all our Courses

View Our Web Based E-Training Courses

ISO 9001 Quality Management

Understanding and Implementing ISO9001:2008

ISO 9001:2008 Process Based Internal Auditor

Documenting Your Management System

AS9100 Aviation, Space and Defense

Understanding and Implementing AS9100C (9110 &9120) Aviation, Space and Defense

AS9100C:2009 Process Based Internal Auditor

Documenting Your Management System

ISO/TS 16949 Automotive

Understanding and Implementing ISO/TS16949:2009 Automotive

ISO/TS16949:2009 Process Based Internal Auditor
Documenting Your Management System

ISO 14001 Environmental

Understanding and Implementing ISO14001:2004 Environmental
ISO14001:2004 Process Based Internal Auditor

Lean Enterprise and CI

5S Five Pillars of a Lean Workplace Organization
Continuous Process Improvement
Lean Six Sigma
8 Disciplines (8D) of Problem Solving

ISO 13485 Medical Devices

Understanding and Implementing ISO 13485:2003 Medical Devices
ISO 13485 Process Based Internal Auditor

ISO 27001 Information Security

Understanding and Implementing ISO 27001:2005 Information Security
ISO 27001 Process Based Internal Auditor

All courses can be delivered at your company. Don’t see a course, location, or date that fits your needs?

Contact Us

Phone: 888-572-9642 toll free

This email was sent to wtighe@sustainingedge.com by wtighe@sustainingedge.com |

Sustaining Edge Solutions, Inc. | 8055 N. High Branch Drive | Tucson | AZ | 85743

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