5.2 What roles are involved in an assessment?
The following roles are distinguished in assessments: lead assessor, coassessor, sponsor, and observer.
What does the lead assessor do?
The lead assessor has the following tasks:
- Contact person for the sponsor of the assessment
- Planning of the assessment
- Responsibility for ensuring the qualification of the assessment team
- Ensure that the assessment meets the requirements of the customer and the industry requirements (ISO/IEC 33000-family, Automotive SPICE, VDA Automotive SPICE Guidelines, other VDA requirements, if applicable)
- Ensure that the agreed outputs are produced (e.g., final findings, assessment report)
Which rules apply for the assessment team?
An assessment team in the automotive industry usually consists of at least two assessors, the lead assessor (who is responsible for the assessment) and the co-assessor (supporting the lead assessor). They must be INTACS assessors certified with the VDA QMC as this is a precondition by most OEMs. For an independent assessment, at least the lead assessor must come from a different, independent organization than the one being assessed.
There is no upper limit for the number of assessors in the assessment team, however, there are reasons against an assessment team that is too large:
- Duration of the interview sessions (The interview sessions may be longer since there may be more questions.)
- Duration of the consolidation phases (The consolidation phases may be also longer as all assessors will participate in the discussion of the evaluation.)
- Assessment as „tribunal“ (Too large an assessment team can make the interviewee feel like being in front of a tribunal.)
In general it is recommended to have no more than three assessors on the team, although there may be exceptions for organizational reasons.
What should I do as the sponsor of an assessment?
The sponsor of an assessment is responsible for the following activities according to ISO/IEC 33002:
- Ensure the qualification of the lead assessor
- Ensure that the assessment team has access to all necessary resources
The first point is easy to cover because lead assessors must be certified with intacs either as a “Competent Assessor” or “Principal Assessor”. A sponsor can simply check the INTACS Authorization Cards which assessors need to bring to the assessment or he can check the list of certified assessors at the INTACS website.
The second point is not complicated for simple assessments. For complex assessments (for example, multiple locations, or several contractors involved) it is the responsibility of the sponsor to make sure that all stakeholders are informed and understand the priorities. Availability of the right people and their willingness to cooperate is the most important resource of all.
In all assessments it is recommended to appoint an assessment coordinator for each assessment site who takes care of the organization of the assessment (invitations, rooms, catering, etc.).
What is the purpose of the VDA QMC?
The VDA QMC is the certification body for all Automotive SPICE assessors and takes care of exams and (re)certification of assessors.
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