Deutsch: Nichtkonformität / Español: No conformidad / Português: Não conformidade / Français: Non-conformité / Italiano: Non conformità /

Non-conformance, in the context of quality management, refers to any deviation, discrepancy, or failure to meet established quality standards, specifications, or requirements within an organization's processes, products, or services. It signifies a departure from the expected level of quality and may result from various factors such as errors, defects, non-compliance with regulations, or process inefficiencies. Identifying and addressing non-conformances is a fundamental aspect of quality management, as it helps organizations rectify issues, prevent future occurrences, and maintain or improve overall quality.

Examples of Sentences


  • The quality audit revealed several instances of non-conformance in the manufacturing process.
  • Addressing non-conformances promptly is essential to prevent quality-related issues from affecting customer satisfaction.
  • The root cause analysis identified a specific area of non-conformance that required process improvement.

International and National Examples:

  • ISO 9001: The ISO 9001 standard sets the foundation for a quality management system that includes processes for identifying and addressing non-conformances to maintain product and service quality.
  • FDA Warning Letters: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issues non-conformance warning letters to pharmaceutical companies and other regulated industries when quality standards are not met.
  • Aircraft Manufacturing: In the aviation industry, any non-conformance in the manufacturing or maintenance of aircraft parts can have severe safety implications, leading to strict quality control measures.
  • Construction Industry: Construction projects require rigorous monitoring to ensure that any non-conformance with building codes or design specifications is corrected to guarantee structural integrity.

Application Areas


  • Manufacturing: Quality control and quality assurance processes are implemented to detect and address non-conformances in the production of goods, such as automotive components, electronics, and consumer products.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Strict regulatory oversight ensures that pharmaceutical companies identify and correct non-conformances in drug manufacturing processes to maintain product safety and efficacy.
  • Healthcare: Healthcare providers aim to minimize non-conformances in patient care by following evidence-based practices and safety protocols.
  • Software Development: In software engineering, the identification and resolution of software non-conformance issues are essential to deliver reliable and secure software products.


  • Product Defects: Non-conformance can lead to defects or errors in products, resulting in customer dissatisfaction and potential recalls.
  • Regulatory Penalties: Failing to address non-conformances in regulated industries can result in legal actions, fines, and damage to reputation.
  • Operational Inefficiency: Unresolved non-conformances can lead to inefficiencies, increased costs, and delays in production or service delivery.
  • Reputation Damage: Frequent or high-profile non-conformances can tarnish an organization's reputation and erode customer trust.


  • Quality Audits: Regularly conduct quality audits to identify and address non-conformances proactively.
  • Root Cause Analysis: Investigate the root causes of non-conformances to prevent recurrence.
  • Corrective and Preventive Actions (CAPA): Implement corrective actions to address existing non-conformances and preventive actions to prevent future occurrences.
  • Training and Education: Ensure that employees are trained and informed about quality standards and procedures to reduce non-conformances caused by human error.

History and Legal Basics:

  • History: The concept of addressing non-conformances dates back to the early 20th century with the development of statistical quality control and quality management principles by pioneers like Walter Shewhart and W. Edwards Deming.
  • Legal Basics: Various industries have specific regulations and standards governing non-conformances. Compliance with these legal requirements is essential to ensure product safety, quality, and consumer protection.

Similar Concepts or Synonyms:

  • Non-compliance
  • Deviation
  • Quality discrepancy
  • Non-compliant
  • Quality failure
  • Non-standard


: In quality management, non-conformance refers to any deviation or failure to meet established quality standards, specifications, or requirements within an organization's processes, products, or services. Identifying, addressing, and preventing non-conformances are essential steps to maintain or improve overall quality, prevent defects, and ensure compliance with regulatory and customer requirements. Addressing non-conformances promptly contributes to customer satisfaction, safety, and the overall success of an organization.

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