Control of Nonconforming Outputs

The company ensures that outputs that do not conform to their requirements are identified and controlled to prevent unintended use or delivery. The company takes appropriate action based on the nature of the nonconformity and its effects on the conformity of products and services. This also applies to nonconforming products and services detected after delivery of products and during or after the provision of products.  The company deals with nonconforming outputs in one or more of the following ways: correction, segregation, containment, return or suspension of the provision or products and services; informing the customer; and obtain authorisation for acceptance under concession.  Conformity to the requirements is verified when nonconforming outputs are corrected.  The company retrains documented information that: describes the nonconformity; describes the actions taken; describes any concessions obtained; identifies the authority deciding the action in respect of the conformity.

The last of the operational clauses and it finishes with a bang.  The good news is that it is not just about the product or the final service, but ANY outputs whether WIP, raws, design, etc that is not to specification or expectation is a nonconformance.  And while we are here, let’s not get too hung up on definitions here or ‘grades’ or severity or anything.  If it ain’t to spec, it ain’t a quality product and it needs to be controlled.

I am a huge advocate of stopping the rot first, then fixing, then exploring the causes.  At every stage it should be easy to capture the data, the actions, the photos, feedback for further analysis as when it is appropriate to do so.  So let’s break it down.  Control the nonconformance first.  Label it.  Delete it.  Move it.  Stop it.  Etc.  Sure you can get a concession from your customer (internal or external) to accept sub standard outputs but in my world, this is the last resort.  Make sure your terms cover such events.

The most important part of this clause is to keep records of the process and to ensure transparency of what went wrong and how it was managed back to conformance.