What are non-conformances?

A non-conformance is when something (a product, service, process, or system) fails to accord to your agreed standard. You usually validate it as a non-conformance report (NCR). The types of non-conformance reports (NCRs) are varied – they can be anything from change to complaints, from failures to recalls. They can also be related to several groups such as external clients, auditors, testers, or staff members in various departments. These reports will set out the applicable corrective conduct that needs to take place to manage the non-conformance.

Types of Non-conformances: Major and Minor non-conformances

Non-conformances can be categorised into 2 categories: Major and Minor non-conformances. A non-conformance will be regarded major when a demand is fully not met due to a system failure or perhaps you have missed a feature of your quality management system, which may result in a serious consequence. A minor non-conformance arises when the requirement is still not met, but the consequences aren’t serious.

Why are non-conformances consequential?

It is important that non-conformances are recognised. This makes it easier for your management can take any necessary corrective action.  An NCR should give a clear and terse summary of the problem or the region that is not compliant. Reporting non-conformances, shows that some parts of your organisation’s working procedures are being overlooked. So, measures can be taken to help prevent them in the future. NCRs can be organisational gold if managed correctly.

Observations provide feedback, pauses, and a chance to take a step back and look not just at the details of what you do but also the big picture. However, deal with NCRs carelessly, and they can cause conflict between departments and result in customers badmouthing you and reducing profits.

List of non-conformances may include:

  • False advertising.
  • Failure to take preventive or corrective action when problem has been identified with a product or service.
  • Employees not following the correct procedures.
  • Not implementing parts of a standard.
  • Flaws in products/services that are sold to consumers

Use SHEQ software

To design and implement a Quality Management System, SRM and many of our clients use Mango Compliance Software – www.mangolive.com Mango makes it easier to obtain and maintain ISO 9001:2015 certification.


SRM is ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018 certified. Contact our consultants today. Let us know if we can help you with the development and implementation of your Quality Management System.