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Have you ever falsified a record?


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#1 Simon

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 04:41 PM

If yes why and if not how come.


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#2 GMO

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 04:44 PM

No.  What's the point?  Results are results and people who lie so often get found out.  :oops2:



#3 George @ Safefood 360°

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 01:46 AM

I once heard a story about a company who regularly falsified records. During one audit it was suggested to save time and money that the auditor should be invited to review the records for next year's audit while on site. But maybe that's taking it too far...?  :smile:  



#4 Tony-C

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 04:23 AM

No but I've seen plenty :rolleyes: All denied of course

 

I've also refused to tow the line with a 'false statement' regarding a product recall by one Managing Director. The customer rang me to ask what happened and I told them the truth. I survived, the MD didn't and now I have even more respect from the customer.



#5 Simon

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 04:55 PM

I have. :blush:


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#6 Tony-C

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 05:36 PM

I have. :blush:

 

Are you sure this is something you want to confess?



#7 Charles.C

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 05:45 AM

Dear All,

 

To add a little context, here is a more generalised study for what I suppose is hoped to be a relatively "pure" end of the spectrum.

 

I suppose the conclusions may under or overwhelm  depending on yr personal viewpoint / experiences.

 

Attached File  Fabrication - Falsification of Research Data, 2009.pdf   315.67KB   59 downloads

 

Might be interesting to repeat the exercise for narrow groups, eg Statisticians, Politicians, etc. :smile:

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

PS- and another, more recent, from the "popular" press -

 

http://www.theguardi...ud-bad-practice

(the appended comments are also quite interesting)


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#8 Simon

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 06:37 PM

A long time ago, when I was a novice, I was expecting an audit and was in a bit of a mess with the system.  Due to work pressure I was behind on internal audits and corrective actions in various places were overdue etc.  It suddenly dawned on me I hadn't looked through the pest control manual on the run up to the audit and I remembered the pest controller had been in and mentioned a couple of things. On checking through the manual I noticed there were a few recurring actions on proofing and litter and gaps in action sign offs, so I signed them all off.


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#9 Antores

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 04:25 PM

George,

 

I would say this is more common that we would accept. I have found myself falsified records done by the operators..  As every non-conformance, this requires a root cause investigation and corrective/preventative actions. For what I have seen common causes are:

  • Work Load: Sometimes we may ask too much to the people doing records. They may have a lot of things to do, most of them necessary for the operation to run. Since filling out a record is not going to stop a machine to work, or a product to be packed, it is easy to see why an operator may put up filling the record for later.  Ironically, for the same reason (lack of time), once I found a very proactive employee who just went ahead and completed a record form for the next month..  So we were in January and he had records until February… I didn’t know if I should laugh of cry!!
  • Lack of Training: Some operators don’t know what falsifying a record is, and why it is important not to. It is not only putting false information. You can hear things like.. “I complete the DAILY records every week (or month) because I actually did the observations and I remember all was fine, so I’m doing nothing wrong”.  Also, they do not understand this can result on failing and audit, or even worst product contamination. Also, this documents may become legal documents in case of litigation (recall/outbreak).   I alway tell to my operators that if they missed a record, it is better to leave it that way and explain why, instead of making it up.

There sure are lot of other reasons, such as auditing pressure, and even intentions of hiding not desirable results, such as CCP out of limits or a bad test result… but in general, I believe this is more common of what we anticipate.



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#10 Setanta

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 04:37 PM

Since I made mention of the anonymity of this forum, I should come forth. Back when I first took the QA Manager role...

Yes, I have falsified a record. It was a check of another record. I signed that I had looked at ‘X’ but I hadn’t. It troubled me so much, that I went and did what I had marked down after the fact. I have filled in something on a electronic file that I had done and not marked down, too

And now I must go into witness protection!


-Setanta         

 

 

 


#11 Simon

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 08:56 PM

At this point the topic has had 270+ views and only a handful of comments.  I believe falsifying records is wrong, but commonplace and many quality managers will have done the dirty deed at some point.  Maintaining a FSQMS where missing the dot off an "i" can result in a non-conformance creates a tremendous pressure to be perfect. Nowadays many are also managing in an environment of ever dwindling resources and at the same time under greater and greater regulation and pressure e.g. unannounced audits, graded audits based on number of non-conformances plus the sheer number of actions and records a FSMS generates and demands then it is very obvious that self-preservation can take over from time to time.  I’m not talking about lazy Quality Manager’s here, but those genuine QM’s who want to do a good job and the right thing and who work their butts of striving to do so, but still cannot cope.  I understand not many would want to admit to falsifying records on the forum.  I believe the only solution is to have an effective and efficient FSQMS and that takes time and great skill to nurture.

 

The thread was initially focussed on Quality Managers but Antores widens the topic to general record keeping of operators. I have recently made and carried out a training program on diligent quality checking and record keeping for operators showing that both go hand in hand and one without the other is a fail.  I too remember printers filling in their quality checklists far in advance and trying to explain to them why this is not correct (we may as well have them pre-printed to save time and effort).  Filling in a quality record one tick (check) at a time after the check is completed takes a mind-set that takes a huge time and effort to develop as it is fundamentally counter intuitive to the way humans like to work.


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#12 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 09:10 PM

I think it's important to make sure that distinct lines are drawn in reference to this question as there are a few facets to the question that should truly be fleshed out.

 

Yes.  Before we were certified to a food safety standard, and before I had any experience with them we "falsified" records, so to say, at a previous employer.  In reality we had people fix errors on their paperwork but we never did anything wrong or malicious.  If it was a CCP the product was held and reworked as appropriate.

 

However I haven't ever done it to make something that is wrong look right and now I specifically won't allow anyone to do it now that I'm a quality manager.  Now I notate the error on the paperwork and hold retraining.  The company I'm at now is still very new to GFSI so we hold retraining... soon it'll be warnings and write-ups.

 

falsifying records makes it sound like your doing something illegal. Under GFSI standards even adding the name of the operator onto the paperwork after the run could be considered altering a record and therefore falsifying documentation.


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#13 Simon

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:05 PM

By the way I really don't advocate falsifying records.  I am reformed.  The quality department should have its own house in order of course, but it’s also their job to develop efficient systems for others that are not overly bureaucratic, but are still effective.  Simple systems are much more likely to be observed.  Once you have the system then it’s about education, education, education and auditing, auditing, auditing, until you have a robust system embedded where diligent quality checking and good record keeping go hand in hand.


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#14 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 01:32 PM

Of course you don't Simon :shades: lol

 

I think some of what people could consider "falsifying" is more like "cleaning up".  Sending things back for missed signatures and such.  If your changing values for things to be in that are out.  Or scrubbing your documents of anything out of place then your wrong otherwise you just might not realize that what your doing isn't right.


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#15 paolos

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 08:17 PM

I have not falsified a document as a QA Manager.  I have accidentally neglected to document at the frequency stated in a program but never tried to correct it by falsifying a document.  That is what a corrective action report is for.  Auditor expect to see a few...



#16 GMO

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 05:34 AM

I too believe it is commonplace and (not where I work now) but in roles I've had in the past, I've known people have done it.  I've always taken the stance that it's something no-one should accept, for issues of pragmatism as well as honesty; I fervently believe people always get found out in the end. 

 

The site which is prepared to falsify records thinks everything is ok when they get their BRC grade A, PIU green / blue etc but in reality it's not.  Where is the impetus and pressure to improve the system if you get great audit results?  Falsifying records is naive.

 

With the pest control example, I would have made sure the actions were actually completed then complete the last record, not go back.  Auditors do expect to see failings in a system but if you've found them and resolved them yourself, that's something to be praised.  It would be a picky and ineffective auditor who raised "you used to have a problem with x".

 

The PP has a good point.  If you went to court over, say a metal find in a product, your metal detection records would be used as evidence.  If you had the Topic Bar mouse issue, your pest control records would be evidence.  Do you really want to stand up and defend something in court perguring yourself?  Or would you be prepared to stand up in court and say "I was a bit embarrased that we'd not weeded by the fence so I pretended we had"?!  :doh:



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#17 Simon

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 08:56 PM

I too believe it is commonplace and (not where I work now) but in roles I've had in the past, I've known people have done it.  I've always taken the stance that it's something no-one should accept, for issues of pragmatism as well as honesty; I fervently believe people always get found out in the end. 

 

The site which is prepared to falsify records thinks everything is ok when they get their BRC grade A, PIU green / blue etc but in reality it's not.  Where is the impetus and pressure to improve the system if you get great audit results?  Falsifying records is naive.

 

With the pest control example, I would have made sure the actions were actually completed then complete the last record, not go back.  Auditors do expect to see failings in a system but if you've found them and resolved them yourself, that's something to be praised.  It would be a picky and ineffective auditor who raised "you used to have a problem with x".

 

The PP has a good point.  If you went to court over, say a metal find in a product, your metal detection records would be used as evidence.  If you had the Topic Bar mouse issue, your pest control records would be evidence.  Do you really want to stand up and defend something in court perguring yourself?  Or would you be prepared to stand up in court and say "I was a bit embarrased that we'd not weeded by the fence so I pretended we had"?!  :doh:

 

You know I feel really bad now GMO.   :sofa1:

 

I think my logic at the time was that I didn't want an auditor to see repeat comments that were not actioned when the action had eventually been completed.  It was flawed logic of course.


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#18 GMO

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:07 AM

Yeah don't feel bad.  We've all made mistakes.  But as you get older you realise there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying "I've made a mistake" or "we realised we'd missed something and this is what we did".  Lessons of time, experience and pragmatism!



#19 Jim E.

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 11:26 PM

"The company I'm at now is still very new to GFSI so we hold retraining....soon it'll be warnings and write-ups"

 

That part is true for us also however we have been audited and retraining provided for more years than I can count on my hand.  However senior management does not want to escalate the reprimands for document error any further.  I am tired of writing up the same deviations and talking to folks on the production floor every other day.

 

When will it all end?  :shutup: 






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