Communicating the differences between nonconformances (NCRs) and corrective/preventive actions (CAPAs) to staff can be challenging. It’s extremely important, too, that everyone fully grasps the distinctions — because consistency in using your organization’s quality management system will directly contribute to the accuracy of your metrics. Furthermore, this will impact the quality of the insights that can be generated by studying them.
In ISO 9001:2015, there is a defined progression between nonconformity, correction, and corrective action:
- A nonconformity occurs when a requirement is not fulfilled. The result of a nonconformity, according to Hoyle (2017), is a failure to meet product requirements, carry out a task as required, or meet customer or stakeholder requirements.
- A correction is the step taken to remedy that single nonconformity. Removing the nonconformity does not prevent the issue from happening again. The result of a correct is to prevent the nonconformity from advancing further in the process.