Terms

Terms

Friday, 02 July 2010 16:51

Nonconformities vs. Corrective Actions

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"It's just a rework - don't make me do a Corrective Action form - the paperwork will take longer than the fix".... Ever heard that??? There's a huge difference between NonConformities and Corrective Actions, but if you are the type of company who gets a customer return, and they demand a corrective action every time, you've probably come to dread these concepts. Lets step back from the viceral "I hate paperwork" reaction that we all have for just a minute, and discuss the uses and purposes for nonconformities and corrective actions. There are many things that could potentiall fall into the NonConformity (NC)category -especially since ISO defines a NC as "non-fulfillment of a requirement" - but for most of us, it breaks down to:
Corrective action is when I fix a problem and the customer is happy, right? While this may be the way most folks view it, actually there’s a lot more to it. In 2005, ISO added an additional word into their vocabulary list to help clarify it: “Correction” as opposed to “Corrective action.” In 2008, they added this clarification into the ISO 9001 standard. So, what’s the difference? A Correction is when you fix the thing that went wrong (the nonconformity) This is the immediate action to keep customers or management happy: rework the product, replace the thing that’s not working right with one that does, or edit the document requiring accurate information. A Corrective Action, then, is described in 8.5.2 of the ISO 9001 standard as something done to “prevent recurrence.” This is the thing you do to ensure the nonconformity never happens again. It also requires some strategic thinking. Therefore, it is crucial to always identify causes of nonconformities before defining and implementing a Corrective Action.
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