What Should I Do if I Am Not Happy With My Auditor?

You have two options.  Complain or don’t complain.

Most organizations avoid complaining because they are worried about that auditor coming back.  Even if you can ensure they don’t return, does your complaint affect the registrar organization who is, after all, sending the next auditor?  Worse than this, in our experience registrars simply don”t see anything wrong with what their auditors do.  They put it down to personality conflicts and misunderstandings and they seem completely miss the opportunity for corrective action.  That said an unofficial complaint or “challenge” of a finding is often reviewed favorably.

Of course you do have recourse to complain to the accreditation agencies (e.g. ANAB).  However, these too are rare.  You have to remember that while ANAB is independent, it is funded by the people they are investigating complaints against.  Since September 2006 (3 years) there have been 93 complaints against registrars (check out the ANAB website at ANAB.org).  That’s about 31 per year.  How many registered companies are there?  (figures are hard to tell because there is no one source).  In the US an estimate of 100,000 might be appropriate, all of which are audited for at least one day a year!

So while we would urge you to complain and correct auditors who are wrong, we are realistic.  Choose you battles.   If necessary ask “nicely” for findings to be reviewed.  If its a behavioral issue or once you realize that you deserve to get value for what you pay, the simplest route is to just change registrars.  A new registrar can take over your certification without any extra cost or effort – they simply take up where the last one left off.  When negotiating with the new one you can make your points clear and ensure follow up.