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There is a fine line that an auditor must walk when documenting the results of a management systems audit. Determining the differences between a major non-conformance, minor non-conformance, and or observation can be difficult. This paper clarifies these audit decision making difficulties. Third party quality management system audits are meant to objectively review of the effectiveness of a quality system. Without consistency in categorizing the results, the effectiveness of the audit can become compromised. The audit decision making tools described in this paper are just some of the many tools that auditors utilize in the performance of the audit to maintain that effectiveness.
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