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#1 Sankara narayanan

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 08:51 AM

During our certification audit(for 22000) when auditor was going through internal audit reports he asked for audit notes of internal audit. I told him that they were scribblings only but since I had preserved them, he didnt make much of a fuss. He told that it has to a separate record with recod no etc and that it is mandatory. :rolleyes:

In my previous firm, the CB was BVQI and they never asked for any internal audit notes, not a single occasion. Do the audit formalities change from one CB to another?
:doh:

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A Sankara Narayanan


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#2 Simon

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 09:03 PM

During our certification audit(for 22000) when auditor was going through internal audit reports he asked for audit notes of internal audit. I told him that they were scribblings only but since I had preserved them, he didnt make much of a fuss. He told that it has to a separate record with recod no etc and that it is mandatory. :rolleyes:

In my previous firm, the CB was BVQI and they never asked for any internal audit notes, not a single occasion. Do the audit formalities change from one CB to another?
:doh:

I'm a little confused, are you talking about an internal audit checklist or such like? I agree there should be records from internal audits.

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#3 Sankara narayanan

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 09:23 AM

Dear Simon,

I was referring to the notes of internal audit. We do have Internal audit report which talks about the non conformities encountered and the corrective actions taken. To substantiate this we have the non-conformity report too where each non confomity is addressed separately with root cause analysis, details of correction and CA and details of follow up audit by MR.

Does any sub clause talk about necessity of audit notes being mandatory?


Best Regards,

A Sankara Narayanan


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#4 Charles Chew

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 09:32 AM

Hi

Clearly Internal Audit Procedures and their findings are part of your verification matrix which will be used as review input for System Upgrading. So its really in the Standard.


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#5 YongYM

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 10:21 AM

Dear Sankara:
Just to share with you. Our own internal audit procedure mentioned that we need to compile the audit notes and any non-conformance encountered together with the root cause, corrective action and the commitment date as well as the evidence of the action take.

I personally think that the audit notes especially a detailed one is very important as most of the time our external auditor will go through it to see whether there is any major issues being highlighted in order for them to follow up the effectiveness of the action taken by us. It can also show that whether our internal auditor is well-prepared before the audit or is he/she competent. Besides, we also use the audit notes to train the new internal auditors. Any area being highlighted for many times may prompt us to look into it seriously. We can also be more careful if there is area being neglected during the previous audit.

And of course, you may need to assign a form number for you 'blank' audit notes and control it as you do for other records.


Edited by YongYM, 04 June 2007 - 10:23 AM.

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#6 Charles.C

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 10:47 AM

Dear All,

I'm a little confused, are you talking about an internal audit checklist or such like? I agree there should be records from internal audits.

Regards,
Simon


Interesting thread but I have the same problem as Simon. I personally always use a checklist but I have seen external visitors use almost everything including a menu from a hotel restaurant. I would have thought that scribblings on the back of an envelope would be somewhat difficult to offer as an official record, with or without a number?

Rgds / Charles.C
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#7 Sankara narayanan

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 11:05 AM

Dear Friends,

Thank you all very much the valuable inputs. I'll be prepared for the surveillance audit. :x_smile:
Still one doubt remains... which clause/subclause says that audit notes(internal audit) are mandatory?
:surprise:



Best Regards,

A Sankara Narayanan


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#8 GMO

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 12:51 PM

This was something someone brought up with me recently. My writing is awful and we don't use ISO here only BRC but I thought it was a good point and any audit in future will have hand written notes attached by me. I think it's good practice now I've thought it through!


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#9 Jean

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 08:36 AM

Hi !

I was asked to show my written audit scribblings inspite of showing the typed reports. By chance I had kept a separate file for the internal audit findings (hand written) and the auditor was comparing the typed reports with the written ones to see if they match and it also gives evidence that the internal audits are done.

I personally feel hand written documents will be a better proof to support that internal audits are done rather than just copy paste from the previous audit findings every month and generate a report for name sake. I had twice found the copy paste reports in a pest control report which was given to our organization and the same findings for 4 months continously. When I did an inspection to see if the findings were corrected, to my surprise, I found many findings (like gaps, holes etc) did not even exist. Then we wrote to the company and finally took a decision to stop them due to few other reasons too.

Rgds,

J


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#10 Esther

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 06:30 PM

Hello all

Thank you Sankara for bringing this issue to the forum, I am really astonished.

I see the point of view of Simon and Charles.

In my opinion, it is enough to have a internal audit report to show that the plant complies with that requirement.
By reading the answers before, the " notes" seems to be more important than the report itself.

On the other hand, it is said that all the relevant documents related to the standard must be clear, unambiguous and " legible"; well, when doing an audit and writing my notes my writing is awful and I am using symbols and shorthand writing which allows me write down the report later on. What would happen in this case ??

It seems to me that once the scope is established and the report is done, the fact of asking for those " notes " is irrelevant.

Regarding the findings told by Jean, I think that that has more to do with his experience and follow-up of that plant than with the fact of asking for the " notes".

From the side of a food company operator and of a consultant I feel that sometimes we are loosing the point: food safety and making these standards more and more discouraging.

Again, as I posted before in this forum, a question comes to my mind and I would appreciate to have an answer from an auditor: What an auditor would do if he/she has only find 5 minor non conformities in a plant and at the same time he/she is not given the "internal audit notes" and also find that the internal audit has been done by the quality manager of the plant ( same person that has had quite a lot to do in the implementation of the standard in that company??

Any comment or experience regarding the latter will be welcome.

Sincerely
Esther


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#11 GMO

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 08:47 PM

Very good points Esther but I think if an auditor is being anal enough to ask for this, there isn't much else wrong.

I have to admit being shocked when the internal auditor asked me for this after I'd just done three audits for them (despite not being my role - hence my annoyance at the nitpicking attitude!) I think in balance though if I can be strict with myself so I am tidier with my notes it would be no bad thing.


Edited by GMO, 30 March 2008 - 08:48 PM.

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#12 Charles.C

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 08:15 AM

Dear All,

Seems to me that people are becoming amazingy auditor-friendly recently. My personal auditor philosophy is that the more information you offer, the greater the chance of a defect being picked up. Minimisation is the name of the game.
AFAIK, there is no specific requirement stated in the standard relating to audit notes ?? This is the kind of question that is always coming up in forums on ISO 9000 and the usual answer is to directly challenge the auditor. Anyone tried that yet ?
Next thing will be a request for all internal notes regarding the follow-up to actual incidents, that should generate some activity. :smile:

Regarding Esther's question about auditing one's "own work", this is another ISO favorite. Not sure as to the specific stated requirement in BRC standard ? Generally the above stated procedure applies again. Admittedly a note of caution is that the chosen degree of confrontation may be required to hv some influence from the perceived progress of the audit.

After all, in the end, you're paying for the audit, yes?? It should be a symbiotic relationship.

Rgds / Charles.C


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#13 GMO

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 11:50 AM

Hi Charles C

BRC are surprisingly not woolly at all when it comes to auditing your "own work". Version 4 (not got 5 to hand but we're still being audited against ver 4 this week so I'm going with it) says "2.9.2 - Internal audits shall be carried out by appropriately trained, competent auditors, who shall not audit their own work or have direct influence on the operation within the department or section being audited". I think if you audit your own work it's an obvious non con. The fact is that you can review your own work but it's sensible to have fresh eyes. (Anyone want an interim btw? I'm finishing on Friday!)


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#14 Charles.C

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 02:05 AM

Dear GMO,

I note that one modification from ver3 to ver4 has resulted in the chunk “be independent of the area” changing to “not…hv direct influence”. Direct is such a nice word. :whistle:

Rgds / Charles.C

added - just noticed that this has strayed into the wrong forum - ah well! :smile:


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#15 Esther

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 06:51 PM

Hello GMO

Ok, going directly to the point: so, you would raise an non conformity, major?? if so, how can you justify that major non conformity if the final result is that you, as an autor, only has could find 5 minor non conformities ??

It is so hard to think that a proffesional person can be enough objective and demanding with him/herself to be able to carry out that job properly even it is not the best practice??

Sincerely
Esther


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#16 BELE

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 09:30 AM

I agree with you in no way it is demanded to keep audit notes. This requirements applies only to certification auditors but not to internal auditors.

Best regards.

Patrick Bèle Food Portfolio Manager
Bureau Veritas Certification Holding SAS


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#17 Charles Chew

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 09:59 AM

Control of records would require you to maintain objective evidences.


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#18 GMO

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 04:28 AM

Going back to the auditing your own work question - I would probably say this was a minor but then I'm not a BRC or ISO auditor (yet??) The thing is I would probably agree a major could be justified if the system had never been audited by anyone else. The reason is, when you're close to something you can miss things. I recently rewrote a HACCP study which had been audited by several different people and no major issues had been raised. This is what I found:

The consumer group had not been identified.
Every time the Team Leader wrote down a temperature (e.g. should be less than 5) they wrote it the wrong way round, e.g. >5 not <5
The hazard had not been adequately described; they'd not indicated which pathogens were of importance.
They had not considered allergens
They had not considered risks of deliberate contamination

I could go on...

This person was adequately trained and yet made all of these mistakes.


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#19 Simon

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 07:16 PM

Going back to the auditing your own work question - I would probably say this was a minor but then I'm not a BRC or ISO auditor (yet??)

If you can't beat em join em..eh?

The thing is I would probably agree a major could be justified if the system had never been audited by anyone else. The reason is, when you're close to something you can miss things. I recently rewrote a HACCP study which had been audited by several different people and no major issues had been raised. This is what I found:

The consumer group had not been identified.
Every time the Team Leader wrote down a temperature (e.g. should be less than 5) they wrote it the wrong way round, e.g. >5 not <5
The hazard had not been adequately described; they'd not indicated which pathogens were of importance.
They had not considered allergens
They had not considered risks of deliberate contamination

I could go on...

This person was adequately trained and yet made all of these mistakes.

Was it a man?

As seen in the industrial manufacturing world, women’s ability to pay attention to detail is also touted as a reason why more women are being employed in the quality control and quality assurance (QA/QC) areas of food science. “When we walk through food factories and plants, you see a lot more women employed in QA/QC,” and she believes it is a woman’s ability to be very careful about details that makes them so good at these jobs. “I’ve noticed that it is always the women on the QA floor that are the ‘pickiest’ in terms of making sure a food product meets quality standards,” argued Prakash. Women are bringing to the food industry an increased emphasis on health and food safety.

The Increasing Role of Women in Food Quality

Your probably gonna tell me he is a she aren't you? :unsure:

Simon
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#20 GMO

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 08:35 PM

Yep, it wasn't a man actually, it was a woman. I agree that detail focussed women are attracted to quality but there are good detail focussed men too. Unfortunately you also find poor performers of both gender.


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#21 Simon

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 07:01 PM

Yep, it wasn't a man actually, it was a woman. I agree that detail focussed women are attracted to quality but there are good detail focussed men too. Unfortunately you also find poor performers of both gender.

I agree. It's a myth. But don't tell Caz I said that. :whistle:
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#22 rita

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 05:57 PM

Interestingly, quite few auditors check the scribblings......depends on the more amount of paperwork you show they tend to ask for more....I have not been asked yet, but they asked me if I was using a checklist and to show a blank one. Then they asked me if I keep the written ones...to which i said yes which is kept too.

Anyway, its ok to show once in a while just to convince them.


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#23 Simon

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 07:11 AM

A good auditor should be able to tell the difference between an audit checklist that has been completed on a tour around the factory and one that has been completed at a desk. :whistle:

Simon


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#24 Charles Chew

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 07:42 AM

Again, I wish to stress the importance of review input under the ISO 22000 requirements including the fact that all records (including audit notes) are needed to be controlled in a manner that are secured and assessible. External auditor should check these notes for objective evidences against the review output of the int. audit.

A good auditor should be able to tell the difference between an audit checklist that has been completed on a tour around the factory and one that has been completed at a desk.

A good auditor should conduct audits base on the risk-approach rather than the usual mechainical audits. Clearly, on a risk-approach, there is no audit checklist instead the audit plan is used.
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#25 GMO

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 09:55 AM

I've realised while looking at this topic that my audit style is quite free-form. I audit an area vs. the standard in use, our standards, our customers standards and our HACCP / prerequisite. Obviously, I have to pretty much carry that around in my head. BRC auditors tend to walk around with the standard and note points against the relevant section. I think that's limiting though because they can easily prempt what they think they will see in a certain area and as a result, miss stuff. I do revisit my style though and pick something out before I enter an area that I want to see so it's mixed up.

Interesting question.


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