The F.P. Horak Co.--No Major Announcements
These replies are safer than guessing. Employees who struggle to answer confusing questions could jeopardize their company's chances.
"The auditors may ask you about something that is not within your responsibility," Krzyminski continues. "So don't try to tell them what you think they want to hear." After all, a wrong answer could result in non-compliance.
A Two-day Stay
Two auditors from Global Registrar (GRI) will be stopping by Horak's facility. They will conduct the audit over the course of two days, visiting the plant periodically throughout its three shifts. At the end of the second day, when the audit is finished, they will decide whether to recommend Horak for ISO 9002 registration.
Even if the auditors discover a major non-compliance, Horak still may receive a recommendation. A company can fix a major non-compliance while the auditors are still at the site. A company can also fix a minor. That's important, since three minor non-compliances within a single element equals a major. Solve one, and you're left with two—and two minors, even within a single element, generally won't cost a company ISO registration.
While a company can patch holes in the quality system during the audit, it must complete all work before the audit ends. If auditors mark up a major non-compliance two hours before they are scheduled to leave, the company could be in trouble. Most majors—such as missing documentation or inadequate training—can't be corrected in a few hours.
Up All Night
Fortunately, if the auditors catch the problem early enough, a company may have enough time to comply. In Horak's case, the auditors will be spending two days at the plant. So if they point out any major non-compliances on the first day, Horak still has a shot at beating the clock.
All-nighters are not uncommon during certification audits. With so much at stake, companies will go to extremes to earn the coveted recommendation. Fix a problem quickly, show the auditors your results, and they will label your company compliant.