Disposition of Non-Conforming Products

“I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things we could use” – Mother Teresa


During the festival season, we prefer to clean our house more intensely. While doing so, we find many things which missed our attention but are useful, we also find unproductive things and need to be discarded, while certain things require repair.


While nonconformity cannot always be avoided because mistakes do happen within a company, the most important thing to keep in mind about this process is that the issue must be immediately handled.

In other words, the identification of a nonconformity itself within an organization is not the end of the process, but it will have more dire consequences if it is not properly identified, addressed, corrected, and prevented in the future.

So effective disposition methodology is important to ensure that losses are minimized. The key objective is to understand its purpose and effectively implement it so that all the relevant stakeholders remained informed and it can be transparently accomplished.

Definitions (ISO 9000: 2015)

Regrade (Cl 3.12.4): Alteration of a grade of a nonconforming product or service in order to make it conform to the requirement differing from the initial requirements

Concession (Cl 3.12.5): Permission to use or release a product or a service that does not conform to specified requirements

Deviation Permit (Cl 3.12.6): Permission to depart from the originally specified requirements of a product or a service before its realization

Detailed Information

Disposition: This is what we will do with this non-conforming product (or service) that does not conform with requirements or the outcome of the review process of nonconformity.

There are five possible dispositions:

  1. Use as it is (Release)
  • Accepted without further measures sometimes known as use-as-is.
  • A concession will probably be required
  • Setting out the limits for quantity / Time / Location
  • Example: Painted component with shade variation, Paint shelf life over
  1. Downgrade
  • Can not be used for the same specification or purpose
  • but for a different specification and requirement, which may meet the intent.
  • Example: Steel Mill
  1. Rework
  • Action will be taken on the product to make it conform with the requirements.
  • This might not mean that it will be identical to an original conforming product.
  • Example: Repainting or replating
  1. Repair
  • Action will be taken on the product to make it acceptable for the intended use.
  • The product might still not conform to requirements after repair
  • A concession would be required
  • Example: Over ID and filled by Welding and redrilling
  1. Scrap
  • The non-conforming product cannot be used
  • Will be recycled or destroyed
  • Careful while deciding about the scrap as it is also a cost (how to scrap)!
  • How to make it unusable before scrapping
  • Example: Batteries

Present Challenges

  • How often do the organizations systematically document everything which is disposed of utilizing scrap, repair or rework?
  • How often do the organizations systematically analyze and take actions related to the product or service which is disposed of?
  • How often the product which is not useful for the customer is diverted to the aftermarket?
  • How often do organizations have a systematic method of converting making the scrap product unusable before handing it over to the scrap dealer?



IATF 16949: 2016

ISO 9000: 2015

ISO 9001: 2015

Industry Experts


This is the 135th article of this Quality Management series. Every weekend, you will find useful information that will make your Management System journey Productive. Please share it with your colleagues too.

In the words of Albert Einstein, “The important thing is never to stop questioning.” I invite you to ask anything about the above subject. Questions and answers are the lifeblood of learning, and we are all learning. I will answer all questions to the best of my ability and promise to keep personal information confidential.

Your genuine feedback and response are extremely valuable. Please suggest topics for the coming weeks.

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