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Have you ever been involved with a witness audit?


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#1 Simon

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 09:07 AM

For Certification Standards such as the BRC the Certification Body is Accredited to carry out BRC audits and part of this Accreditation involves them being audited in the office and out in the field during audits by UKAS (or other National Accreditation Body), usually by a techncial expert and by someone who checks the audit is carried out in accordance with the EN45011 auditing protocol.

So has anyone been involved with a witness audit (as any player) and what was your experience?

By the way who audits the Accreditation Body?? :dunno:

Regards,
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#2 Simon

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 08:40 AM

For Certification Standards such as the BRC the Certification Body is Accredited to carry out BRC audits and part of this Accreditation involves them being audited in the office and out in the field during audits by UKAS (or other National Accreditation Body), usually by a techncial expert and by someone who checks the audit is carried out in accordance with the EN45011 auditing protocol.

So has anyone been involved with a witness audit (as any player) and what was your experience?

By the way who audits the Accreditation Body?? :dunno:

Regards,
Simon

Surely someone must have. Did you get more or less nonconformities on the witness audit than on previous or subsequent audits? :dunno:
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#3 GMO

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 10:24 AM

Nope. Sorry Simon. I was once audited by SAI Global with a trainee which was unfair IMO as they kept splitting up, however, that said, they didn't raise any more points and missed some blatent ones I was writing down thinking "bunch of eejits..." as I did so (about the operators not the auditors.)


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#4 Saviour

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 04:58 AM

Hi!!!
I am also interested to know about witness audits. As in next two months witness audit is scheduled in our organization, our head office has sent the list of companies/clients that are scheduled for audits in these months to accreditation body for sort listing.
I'm not sure exactly how they do this audit, possibly they will see how we are conducting audits something like monitoring audit.

Ps. someone who has already faced or done witness audit may explore more.

Regards


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#5 Simon

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 03:13 PM

Hi!!!
I am also interested to know about witness audits. As in next two months witness audit is scheduled in our organization, our head office has sent the list of companies/clients that are scheduled for audits in these months to accreditation body for sort listing.
I'm not sure exactly how they do this audit, possibly they will see how we are conducting audits something like monitoring audit.

Ps. someone who has already faced or done witness audit may explore more.

Regards

I have witnessed a witness audit playing the part of the auditee. From the auditee's point of view they are not being audited any different than usual, it means that everything will be done by the book (as it should always). In reality it is even more pressurised having additional people there and there is also perhaps a little more scrutiny than normal. If your auditor is normally soft then you may find the step change in their scrutiny much larger. That was not the case with me. It is the auditor who is being audited during the witness audit to check they are following the auditing protocol and also that they are asking the detailed technical questions. That's why there is usually an auditing protocol expert and a techncial expert who attend. I imagine it is very tough and uncomfortable for an auditor to be in the hot seat. :smile: Especially if they are no good. :rolleyes:

Regards,
Simon
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#6 Tony-C

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 09:31 AM

I have been involved in a couple of these and found them to be carried out in a professional manner.

You may argue that if the auditor is being assessed then they may take into account points or non-conformances that they missed that were subsequently raised by the assessor.

For me any points or non-conformances raised are an opportunity to improve or can be used as ammunition when requesting additional resources.


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#7 tsmith7858

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 05:53 PM

We were almost part of a witness audit for our ISO 22000 certification in April but the schedule did not work out.

We have had two audits where trainees or observers were along. In one the trainee had a small impact on a few things but also got us out of a few things because he saw what the auditor missed so the auditor left it go (of course it was nothing major).

We had a BRC audit with an observer that went well and was handled very professionally. He was there to "grade" the auditor and observe her performance. I don't feel like he had any impact on how the auditor performed. Of course, he came back the next week to do a customer specific audit and had the benefit of having already seen the BRC audit.


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#8 Erasmo

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 07:11 PM

For Certification Standards such as the BRC the Certification Body is Accredited to carry out BRC audits and part of this Accreditation involves them being audited in the office and out in the field during audits by UKAS (or other National Accreditation Body), usually by a techncial expert and by someone who checks the audit is carried out in accordance with the EN45011 auditing protocol.

So has anyone been involved with a witness audit (as any player) and what was your experience?

By the way who audits the Accreditation Body?? :dunno:

Regards,
Simon


Me! Last January I was a Lead Auditor in a ST2 ISO-9001 assessment and my audit was witnessed by the accreditation body (2 days). It was very professional but I was a little nervous.
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#9 Simon

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 09:52 AM

Me! Last January I was a Lead Auditor in a ST2 ISO-9001 assessment and my audit was witnessed by the accreditation body (2 days). It was very professional but I was a little nervous.

Did you make more nonconformities - I think not? :smarty:

Thanks for your input Erasmo.
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#10 Erasmo

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 10:30 PM

Did you make more nonconformities - I think not? :smarty:

Thanks for your input Erasmo.



Not really, There is a number of issues to assess: The interviews, the closing and opening meeting, the confirmation of the scope, the sampling, the agenda and duration of the audit, the auditor compentence in specific sector, etc.

I did'n have nonconformities!
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#11 Koko LMQ

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 04:50 AM

The witness audits are the normal process for accreditation body (e.g. UKAS, DAR, COFRAC, ANAB etc.) to evaluate the competency of auditors from certification body (e.g. SGS, BVC, DNV, SAI-CMi etc.). The processes are the same as CB does it for company, e.g. opening meeting, evaluate the working process at on-site, closing meeting and if CB does not comply with standard regulations/scheme rules, AB will raise non-conformities (Major or Minor) to CB for corrective action.

As audited company, you just only do as you used to do. It does not effect your audits but you just prepare and discuss with CB before it taken place. What's your role and what you have to play?

Some auditors may strictly audited more than last visit as AB is during evaluating his/her performances. This is only thing you should note.

Responding to Simon, who audits the Accreditation Body?? There is a IAF as the global forum for all ABs and regional forums, e.g. European Accreditation (EA), Pacific Accreditation Corporation (PAC) etc. These organizations will form the audit team from auditors in each AB, each region. The audit team will go to audit each AB as planned by EA or PAC or IAF......it called "Peer Audit/Evaluation" process. The process is the same as they do on CB and company under guideline ISO 17011 and ISO 19011 to CB systems - ISO/IEC 17021 (system certification, e.g. ISO 9001, ISo 14001,...) or ISO/IEC Guide 65 (product certification like BRC, IFS. SQF), ISO/TS 22003 (food safety system certification, e.g. ISO 22000 or FSSC 22000).

Hope it make clear for you.

NY.


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#12 Simon

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 08:08 AM

Thanks very much for your input NY and Eramso. So we now have the witness audit described from the point of view of the Accreditation Bodies, Certification Body and End User. Great! :smile:

Regards,
Simon


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#13 Abdul Qudoos

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 07:48 AM

For Certification Standards such as the BRC the Certification Body is Accredited to carry out BRC audits and part of this Accreditation involves them being audited in the office and out in the field during audits by UKAS (or other National Accreditation Body), usually by a techncial expert and by someone who checks the audit is carried out in accordance with the EN45011 auditing protocol.

So has anyone been involved with a witness audit (as any player) and what was your experience?

By the way who audits the Accreditation Body?? :dunno:

Regards,
Simon


Thanks simon for asking a question,

Last year i have faced the same situation in my organization, but it was simply amazing, i never experienced such a fruitful audit:

Our external auditors informed us about the witness audit and strict auditing process 2 days before, already our system was in place, we got certification 3 years back, our hygiene condition was always very good, only few loop holes in documents, we were happy after this news because we want to improve ourselves as much, let them everyone comes and raise most of the NC's. we were very open to them and shown friendly nature, the accreditation council was observing our external auditors by watching all the time, they are often quite and noting down some points, for any doubts / clarification they were asking us, they have put little pressure on our external auditors and our external auditors also put little pressure on us and finally happy ending...

Thanks for reading my post!
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#14 Simon

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 08:10 PM

Thanks simon for asking a question,

Last year i have faced the same situation in my organization, but it was simply amazing, i never experienced such a fruitful audit:

Our external auditors informed us about the witness audit and strict auditing process 2 days before, already our system was in place, we got certification 3 years back, our hygiene condition was always very good, only few loop holes in documents, we were happy after this news because we want to improve ourselves as much, let them everyone comes and raise most of the NC's. we were very open to them and shown friendly nature, the accreditation council was observing our external auditors by watching all the time, they are often quite and noting down some points, for any doubts / clarification they were asking us, they have put little pressure on our external auditors and our external auditors also put little pressure on us and finally happy ending...

Thanks for reading my post!

Thanks for your input Abdul. It's nice to see an auditor working for their money isn't it.:smile: I wonder did the Certification Body choose your company because they know you are good? That makes me wonder who decides which company will host the witness audit is it the Accreditation Body or Certification Body?

Regards,
Simon
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#15 Abdul Qudoos

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 06:22 AM

Thanks for your input Abdul. It's nice to see an auditor working for their money isn't it. :smile: I wonder did the Certification Body choose your company because they know you are good? That makes me wonder who decides which company will host the witness audit is it the Accreditation Body or Certification Body?

Regards,
Simon


It's happen fortunately!!!

In my region only few companies (1-3) are ISO 22000 certified from a particular certification body (but more counts are ISO 9001 and HACCP)

While processing, Accreditation Body informs to Certification Body we will be auditing you in your next audit schedule, fortunately there was one organization left for the year, that was mine...
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#16 Esther

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 03:31 PM

Hello everybody

Three months ago I was involdved in a witness audit, I was the person audited by a lead auditor. My experience was good, I did act as usual. Also I have to say that the lead auditor was quite friendly and never interrupted me during the audit or put me down.

As Erasmo said,not only the competence of the auditor is checked but other things are taken into condideration such as: if the questions were appropiate, if sufficient employees were interwiewed, if the timing plan was followed; if the audiotr was agressive or pedantic, easily distracted, firm and fair; if all the NC were raised based on facts,etc

In my opinion, if you are confident of yourself you will not have any problem.

Best regards


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#17 Simon

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 09:01 PM

I agree with you Esther, thanks for your contribution.

Regards,
Simon


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