DCMA ISO 9001 Support
DCMA Is Auditing Against ISO 9001
The Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA), per their website, states that they provide “contract administration services for the Department of Defense, other federal organizations and international partners, and is an essential part of the acquisition process from pre-award to sustainment.” What most Department of Defense (DoD) contracted companies experience, and take great notice of, are the sustainment activities that are performed by DCMA and more specifically the area of product audits.
Over the past couple of years, DCMA has taken audits a step further. Although your organization may maintain certification to the ISO 9001 Standard through an ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) accredited certification body (CB), DCMA is now making it known that they are not relying upon or recognizing that certification. They are, in fact, going to audit your organization against the actual ISO 9001 QMS requirements utilizing their own auditors. What does this mean for your organization?
First of all, don’t panic. This can be a good thing and you should already know what the limitations are…the ISO 9001 Standard. If you are going to be audited against the requirements, it would be wise to have your subject matter expert on hand to help translate if there are differences in opinion. Regardless of who will audit your organization, there will be differences in opinion. The ISO 9001 Standard is neither perfect nor exacting about how to execute meeting some of the requirements.
Secondly, keep in mind that DCMA is your customer or, more specifically, they are an extension of your customer (or end user). When differences are encountered, be sure to appropriately consider whether it is something that is viable for your organization to accomplish. For example, “are we truly not meeting a stated requirement” or “can this area be improved by following the advice of this auditor.” What has to be realized here is that, unlike the CB Registrar, DCMA is not going to hold off from potentially expressing their opinion about how something needs to be done.
Finally, you will need to know what course of action to take if there is a difference in opinion regarding the interpretation of the requirements. Choose your battles wisely. DCMA will issue a Corrective Action Request/Report (CAR) if there is evidence of a requirement (or process) that is lacking or requiring improvement.
If your organization is facing a DCMA audit and you’re feeling over your head, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We have assisted many organizations in navigating this process.
Would you like to know where your organization stands with regard to conformity to the ISO 9001 requirements? Simply complete this short form to gain access to download this valuable tool that will provide insight as to whether or not your Quality Management System (QMS) conforms to ISO 9001. Even if you do not think you have a QMS or know what a QMS is, this QMS Assessment will at least provide you with some insight with what you have in comparison to what the ISO standard requires.