Depending on the audit style adopted by the organization or the audit procedures for the company, the audit report for internal audits, may list all 4 different types of findings as explained below or only some. The organization may decide that only non-conformances (NCNs) will be reported on the internal audit report. The ISO 9001:2008 standard requires organizations to have a documented procedure for how audits will be carried out, however it does not specify how exactly audit findings should be reported. So it is up to the company to decide what and how audit findings are handled.
External audits are handled somewhat different. While each registrar has their own procedure as to how audits are conducted and how reports are issued, most registrars will issue various types of findings, such as noteworthy efforts, observations, opportunities for improvement and non-conformances. It is important to note that registrars, based on accreditation body guidelines, would not require action or response on any finding type except for non-conformances.
ISO Audits do not result in a grade, percentage or score. The results of ISO audits are findings. Findings can be good or bad. A few types of findings are:
Nonconformities are in essence, just another type of finding, however it is the one that everyone concentrates on and what the organization worries more about.
Some registrars classify their non-conformances into major and minor, such as in major nonconformance and minor non-conformance. Other registrars classify non-conformances as Category 1 and Category 2. Those terms are basically interchangeable:
Minor nonconformities are those where there is a minor lapse on the quality management system and where basically it is evident that the system or requirement has been established and for the most part are implemented correctly.
ISO Non-conformances generated from internal audits are typically not even classified as major or minor and are simply reported as non-conformances in the audit report.
Miriam Boudreaux is the CEO and Founder of Mireaux Management Solutions, a technology and consulting firm headquartered in Houston, TX. Mireaux’s products and services encompass international standards ISO and API Consulting, Hands-On Training, Auditing, Document Control and implementation of Web QMS platform.
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