How to Mitigate the Non-Conformance

What is non-conformance?

Non-conformance is a deviation from the standard process or procedure, which leads to direct or indirect damage at the work place.

How does it happen?

It occurs when the specifications or the requirements mentioned in the standard processes or procedures are not met. The non conformance might be in a service, product, from external parties or the system itself.

How can it be identified?

Non-conformance can be identified through customer complaints, material inspections, internal and external audits or during the normal testing and inspection activities. Any non-conformance found during the above mentioned process can be taken as an opportunity to understand the issue and various methods to resolve it.

How to address non-conformance?

Non-conformance should be addressed through corrective actions.

Regardless of any type of food safety or quality assurance system used, the requirements for the identification and reporting of non-conformance and the subsequent investigation and rectification of any issues should be included.

The non-conformance should be defined first, then the process to deal with the non-conformance and finally the tools that can be used for the investigation should be identified.

Before the non-conformance is being escalated to the management, the root cause analysis should be made, this helps in preventing the re-occurrence. This process leads to continual improvement.

What are the steps to handle non-conformance:


  1. Identify
  2. Rectify
  3. Investigate
  4. Prevent
  5. Review

Identify: Identify the non –conformance that has been occurred.

Rectify: analyze how it happened and rectify it either by addressing the issue or check if any changes should be made to the existing process to rectify the issue.

Investigate: Investigate the non-conformance through various methodologies like root cause analysis, brain storming sessions etc, to mitigate the issue.

Prevent: After identifying the root cause, effective corrective measures should be taken to avoid re-occurrence of the same issue.

Review: Finally review the effectiveness of the preventive process through normal inspections and audits to ensure the non-conformance does not occur again.

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