Non Conformance Report (NCR)

With in-process inspection and testing properly and conscientiously performed, it should be able to discover any nonconformity as soon as it exists. The next step is to identify the nonconforming work so as to avoid it being covered over or built upon. The method to do so depends on the kind of work. In any case, the identification should remain in place until a decision is made regarding the disposition of the nonconforming work. The inspector/consultant need to make a report of the nonconformance.

non-conformance or non-conformity report or NCR, is a document that addresses specification deviation or work that fails to meet quality standards. The report is used as part of quality control processes by detailing the problem, how it occurred, and how to prevent it from happening again.

When to Issue a Non-Conformance Report

There are many common scenarios in the construction industry that require the issuance of an NCR or a Non Conformance Report:

  • Work that was not built as indicated in the approved issued For Construction Drawings (FCD)
  • Work that fails to meet specified tolerances as established in the project specifications
  • Work that is being performed using non-approved methods or standards
  • Failure to follow the approved testing and inspection plan
  • Testing results demonstrate that the product does not meet established and approved standards
  • Material used that has not been approved as a substitute (equal or similar) 
  • Design is not accurate and does not represent actual field conditions
  • Approved procedure was not followed, and quality defects have been identified by the project team

Who Can Issue an NCR?

A non-conformance report can be issued by any of the project team members. The report must present a non-debatable fact and include clear and sufficient backup information that supports the claim. The NCR follows agreed-upon conditions for tracking and closing the report after appropriate corrections are made. Non-conformance reports often are used as training tools for team leaders to train other employees to help prevent similar situations from happening again.

Non-Conformance Report must include at a minimum the following information:

  • What is the main reason for the NCR or what went wrong
  • Why the work doesn’t meet specifications
  • What can be done to prevent the problem from happening again
  • Explanation of corrective action taken or to be taken
  • Key players involved in the NCR and specifications affected under the NCR

In the course of reviewing nonconforming work, the cause of the incident and the situation leading to it are usually revealed. Corrective action is necessary to eliminate the cause of nonconformance.

Corrective Action Report (CAR) – a report of action taken that ensure that the cause which has resulted in a non-conformance is identified and corrected (i.e a non-conformance has occurred)

Prompted by the actual nonconformity discovered, the investigation is usually extended to similar situations in which potential nonconformities exist. (Potential nonconformities may also be revealed) Appropriate steps have to be taken to prevent a potential problem developing into a real one.

A report of action taken to ensure that the cause which may result in a nonconformance is identified and corrected is a Preventive Action Report (PAR). (i.e. the potential for a non-conformance to occur exist)

Recipient of an NCR, must act promptly and at a minimum follow these steps for a quick resolution:

  • Meet with the person issuing the NCR.
  • Respond with a formal letter or another document, outlining the process that led to the action that triggered the NCR, documenting the action to solve the issue, and explaining the steps taken to prevent the problem from recurring.
  • Implement the corrective action and make sure through an inspection process that the issue has been solved adequately.
  • Make sure that your counterpart agrees and signs off on your action plan.