One of the salient aspects of Quality Control, call it a bit controversial or confusing, is a NonConformity (NC) that calls for a NonConformity Notice or Report (NCN or NCR). That is because, very few seem to have a proper explanation of the same that is acceptable to the rest. Apparently, most don’t fully agree to someone else’s explanation and one’s perception on it appears to be somewhat different from another’s. What is for sure is the fact that a proper definition of an NC and when to raise an NCN is part of Quality Assurance and precise identification of an NC that demands an NCN and subsequent resolution of it is an aspect of Quality Control, be it a construction project or any other for that matter. An NC can arise in any kind of project or process.
NCs are basically shortcomings or discrepancies from actual requirements observed in materials, work, documentation etc. which are identified during supervision or inspection of the same. When something fails to conform to the stipulated specifications, requirements etc., it’s a case of NC.
When an NC is identified in a construction project, often an NCN or NCR is generated. This NCN should preferably be supplemented by a photograph of the NC point and a corrective action too is proposed in the report besides the description of the NC. The point of NC is then marked and kept under hold until resolved. In case of materials the nonconforming materials are segregated or quarantined immediately and necessary action is taken thereafter.
Corrective actions for an NC include setting it right and prescription of preventive measures in the NCR, wherever necessary, in order to avoid repetition. The process of discussion and closing out of an NC should usually involve all concerned stakeholders where corrective action is mutually agreed upon and a suitable time frame is fixed to close the NC. Upon satisfactory resolution, the report is signed by all concerned parties and the same is closed and filed as a quality document.
Now, whatever bit of confusion generally prevails on this issue does not seem to do much with the definition of an NC. It actually concerns with when to generate an NCN. More on this aspect will be discussed in the next post.