We just failed our initial facility audit by one point. I am very upset even though my boss has reassured me that things were beyond my control.
Everyone on this forum that has posted guidance and answered questions has been a huge help, and I wanted to thank those that contribute regularly like Charles and Simon. It would have been an even more miserable time without knowing the things I know now.
Our biggest problem is lack of support. This program is too big for one or two people to manage. We have virtually no support from other departments and this is why we failed. Although we are a small company, there are not enough resources to keep on top of SQF. I also am responsible for many other things that I cannot neglect or put aside. This has been an extremely frustrating two days and I only hope that this will shock the other managers into action to get our act together.
The disappointing fact is, many of the hits were things that I've asked time and time again for them to fix.
When I go back in Monday, I have a four foot stack of papers to go through. I think I'm going to cry, seriously. Has anyone else taken it this hard?!
My commiserations, and the answer to yr last sentence is, Yes, definitely, and in some cases frequently!, especially after having slogged one's guts out to try and get everything set up in advance of an audit. IMEX, your boss's non-volcanic reaction is very atypical so i can only assume that some of the problems were already anticipated ?. (Incorrect drainage design perhaps as per your earlier thread ?)
Not personally familiar with SQF terminologies but by "initial" do you mean this was a pre-audit, ie test audit; or the real thing ? If the latter did you have a pre-audit to warn of likely surprises (aka QA self-protection)?
I deduced from yr earlier posts that you are handling a considerable array of product categories, eg fish, meat plus everything from raw to RTE. IMEX (non-SQF) this is always going to attract a pretty rigorous audit scrutiny. If available resources is a serious limitation (eg one-person show) then almost certain to get headaches.
You haven't mentioned specific non-conformances but i presume one was related to yr current parallel post in that yr workplace is a constantly changing mixture of languages. I am also familiar with this problem but I have (luckily) only rarely encountered a case where workers cannot read
their own language. If so probably preferable to situate them in a position such that adequate reading ability would not be a relevant (auditorial) work expectation, eg (worst case scenario) monitoring a CCP. Even where (non-English) reading is
possible I have still met plenty of situations of HACCP difficulties for (basically) on-the-job trained employees. One helpful measure I hv seen implemented, particularly for CCP locations, was to install elevated white boards (sanitarily encapsulated) at the relevant process points spelling out the critical limits / (very) basic corrective action in appropriate languages to reinforce training programs. Plus facilitating our own internal auditing. This obviously has limitations if faced with a whole bunch of languages, tricky scenario.
The job-related comments you make are sadly only too common IMEX and might well be classified as basic facts-of-life for a QA manager. It is IMO sometimes necessary to adopt a covert technique to get things changed rather than confrontational methods but this varies with the situation. Basic lack of relevant people is always a tough one and likely to be rapidly self-evident to an auditor.
Rgds / Charles.C