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SQF Auditor Statement -- Combining Minors to Make a Major


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#1 SQFconsultant

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 03:09 PM

I am sitting in at an SQF audit today and the Auditor just made the statement that if he finds 3-5 minors in the same section of the report that he can turn the minors into a major.

 

I normally stay completely dead-pan as an observer only duirng our client audits, but I almost fell out of my chair on this one.

 

There is nothing in the SQF manuals that say anything about combining minors to come up with a major - has anyone heard this, ever?

 

Thanks.

 


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC Group | +1.800.793.7042 | Serving the Food, Food Packaging & Food Storage Industries
SQF Development, Implementation, eContinuity & Certification Consultants 
 
In a nutshell we help small to large businesses to get their act together (as needed), help them to co-develop
entire SQF documentation systems, make recommendations as to installations and repairs in order
to get certified and continue with on-going support thru our popular eConsultant program and we do
all within 30 days so your staff can implement with our assistance to retain and get new business!
 
Serving the new Republic of the United States of America & Alliance Countries

http://www.GlennOster.com


#2 Setanta

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 03:29 PM

No, I have not.  I have had auditors combine two similar Minors into one, but not for the purpose of 'making a Major'


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#3 Lesley.Roberts

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 03:50 PM

I have not heard of this regarding an official standard (BRC, ISO22000) but I have experienced this from customer audits,  UK retailers can be very mean & sometimes downright petty.... not going to name & shame but there are some auditors I hope to never ever meet again......

 

For instance - the auditor finds an old version of a controlled document in use..... then 2hrs later another different document (old version) & then later in the day two or three more documents, old versions in use.... and so it goes on.  

 

The auditor then decides that your document control procedure is not just a little out of control, but it is a lot out of control.... in fact there is a "pattern" of no "control" which then instigates a major NCF showing that although it's the same NCF, it has occurred on multiple occasions & it's effect is widespread.  This is particularly relevant where an 'improvement action' or recommendation has been given previously, but the factory being audited has chosen to ignore this advice.

 

Whilst I don't agree with it, sometimes this needs to happen to show senior management, and their staff,  that much more control is needed in some areas which they have judged to be "unimportant".

 

Everybody knows, through their personal experience, observations & audits where their factory is weak (eg. condition of cleaning equipment, paperwork sign off, document control PPE compliance etc.) & it really is worth looking at these areas prior to any audit - plus speaking to the appropriate staff, to bring activities back under control before a little issue turns into a big problem.


Edited by Lesley.Roberts, 27 November 2018 - 03:52 PM.


#4 Lesley.Roberts

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 04:16 PM

UPDATE – JUST FOUND THIS LINK

 

 

http://www.fssc22000.com/documents/pdf/guidances/previous/guidance-on-non-conformity-grading-and-time-frame-to-close-ncs-version....pdf

 

Audit findings that could lead to a Major NC

1. Failure to document and implement FSMS requirements effectively.

2. FSMS failure with a direct impact on the safety of the food.

3. Multiple minor failures that cumulatively indicate that the capability of the FSMS to achieve the expected outcomes is in doubt.

4. Failure to resolve any food safety relevant issues in a timely manner.

5. Unresolved minor NCs within the agreed timeframes.

 6. Evidence of situation which raises a doubt as to the safety of the food and/or unsafe product without any measure taken to control the concerned potentially unsafe product.



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#5 Scampi

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 05:55 PM

I have not Glenn

 

And i might add, yet one more reason GFSI are called SCHEMES............

 

I dislike this so much, I have contacted our national jobs standards organization to demand they create a standard for auditors :angry2:  :angry2:


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#6 adamperry2235

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 06:14 PM

Hi Glenn.

 

My auditor stated something similar. Basically according to my auditor, if they find that many minors in any certain section then yes they will make it a major because they feel it is a breakdown of the system. 



#7 beautiophile

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 06:28 AM

Addition to Lesley, I find in 3.12 of ISO 17021-1:2015 how it defines a Major NC:

nonconformity that affects the capability of the management system to achieve the intended results

Note: Nonconformities could be classified as major in the following circumstances:

- if there a significant doubt that effective process control is in place, or that products or services will meet specified requirements.

- a number of minor nonconformities associated with the same requirement or issue could demonstrate a systemic failure and this constitute a major nonconformity.

Regards.



#8 Gerard H.

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 10:56 AM

Dear Glenn,

 

The first thing, that came into my mind by reading your question was that it is an "ISO"-way of thinking. It has been confirmed above by the helpful information from Lesley Roberts.

 

Non-conformities should be weighed according to the guidelines of the standard against which the company is audited. Not by taking guidelines from other standards, because that isn't a correct practice.

 

Kind regards,

 

Gerard Heerkens



#9 CMHeywood

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 08:44 PM

People are quoting FMSA and ISO standards when the question is related to SQF standards.

 

So how many 1 point minors within a section would be the same as a 10 point major?  How is the auditor defining "section"?  (2.0, 2.1, 2.11 ???)

 

I wouldn't be surprised if SQF would eventually adopt the same policy as FMSA and ISO.

 

Short version of joke related to "how many minor nonconformances does it take to become a major nonconformance?"

    President's Aide:  Mr. President, we just learned that terrorists killed three Brazilians!

    President:  That's outrageous! (...pause...)  Tell me again, how much is a Brazilian?



#10 beautiophile

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 12:45 AM

Hi again,

I've just checked the requirements for SQF certification body, it requires CB applies ISO 17000 standard branch in audits. By this, SQF auditor can refer ISO definitions to judge a NC as major.

Regards.



#11 Scampi

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 01:29 PM

Hi again,

I've just checked the requirements for SQF certification body, it requires CB applies ISO 17000 standard branch in audits. By this, SQF auditor can refer ISO definitions to judge a NC as major.

Regards.

Yes, but that still doesn't speak specifically to rolling minors into a major


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#12 sqflady

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 01:49 PM

I also heard a similar phrase in our last SQF audit.  I took it more as a "threat" than anything.  An auditor's way of saying they were being nice by not escalating to a major.



#13 SQFconsultant

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 10:36 PM

Thank you to everyone for your inputs. Gerard was spot on as were others in the thinking this is an ISO mindset - yes, it was confirmed that the Auditor has an ISO background and it can apply in certain types of ISO audits - BUT NOT SQF.

 

The audit closed out today and the threat was not carried out - the facility did pass.

 

I find it interesting to sit in on audits as a consultant - I was one of the first SQF Auditors in the US and sitting on the other side is very eye opening indeed - in many ways.


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC Group | +1.800.793.7042 | Serving the Food, Food Packaging & Food Storage Industries
SQF Development, Implementation, eContinuity & Certification Consultants 
 
In a nutshell we help small to large businesses to get their act together (as needed), help them to co-develop
entire SQF documentation systems, make recommendations as to installations and repairs in order
to get certified and continue with on-going support thru our popular eConsultant program and we do
all within 30 days so your staff can implement with our assistance to retain and get new business!
 
Serving the new Republic of the United States of America & Alliance Countries

http://www.GlennOster.com


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#14 Scampi

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 01:30 PM

Thank you to everyone for your inputs. Gerard was spot on as were others in the thinking this is an ISO mindset - yes, it was confirmed that the Auditor has an ISO background and it can apply in certain types of ISO audits - BUT NOT SQF.

 

The audit closed out today and the threat was not carried out - the facility did pass.

 

I find it interesting to sit in on audits as a consultant - I was one of the first SQF Auditors in the US and sitting on the other side is very eye opening indeed - in many ways.

 

All the more reason SQFP needs to fully understand the code AND the guidance. Alot is being asked of auditors (time pressures etc) but they are not gods and the code(s) are to enforced as written!


Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs


#15 Setanta

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 12:59 PM

.

SQF technical 'helped' change our score significantly with this quote from the auditor        

"Just about a month ago there was a video conference and one of the topics was concerning Fraud Program – we are now instructed to mark it as a major versus 2 minors hence the deduct and change of score"

 

I'd like to have known that possibility...


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#16 Scampi

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 03:06 PM

I have some serious concerns about SQFI and the training/instructions that are being given to the CB's or the leeway CB's think they have in executing audits

 

Any other technical institute is transparent with the requirements.

 

I was on a SAI Global webinar last week, asked specifically about my product and environmental monitoring exemptions (cannot support the growth/life of pathogens) and was told as long as I could back it up scientifically, that yes it would be grounds of an exemption.............emailed my technical manger......was told nope......I've argued back but as yet have no reply

 

I'm starting to think the CB's are getting a kick back from the non conformities they find

 

Setanta..............i hear your pain completely......


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