When it comes to NCR’s, there are roughly two types:, major and minor. There isn’t always a clear definition between these two categories but the impact they have on the organization after the audit is clear. We are diving into the definition, even though they are quite dependent on the auditor and certifying body. As with everything related to ISO and standards, the answer is up for debate. However, when QHSE is an important part of the organization, it doesn’t matter whether it is a major or minor NCR, it should be resolved as soon as possible.
Minor non-conformity is filed when something isn’t followed according to requirements, but it doesn’t have the potential to impact the quality management system. These minor NCR’s are seen as isolated issues that have limited risks to the organization. Some great examples are things like missing certificates, unclear authorization of documents, and other more administrative mistakes. However, the ultimate judgment whether it is a minor issue is up to the auditor of course.
Major NCR’s are issues related to fundamental problems within the QHSE management system. Missing proof for certain elements is the norm. No clear stakeholder analysis, missing policies, or performing activities, not within the scope of the organization. These types of NCR’s can have a great impact on the QHSE management of the organization according to the auditor.
Does It Really Matter?
Obviously, the segregation of these types of NCR’s is up to the auditor, but does it really matter for the organization?. Yes, from an audit perspective, there is a difference. Major NCR’s need to be resolved mostly within 3 months, while minors need to be resolved before the next audit. However, for the organization itself, it doesn’t really matter and won’t have a large effect., If you see QHSE as an important part of the organization, all NCR’s should be fixed and prevented regardless of their classification. Yes, the major might have a more elaborate root cause that needs to be investigated thoroughly to make sure it doesn’t happen again, but they both should be resolved regardless,.