Minor nonconformance - Not requiring Certificates of Compliance on our supplier PO's



In a recent surveillance audit at one of our districts, we received a minor nonconformance for "not requiring Certificates of Compliance" from our vendors on our purchase orders (see 4.6.3. I am aware of several organizations that provide these types of statements on POs but I do not see the requirment in the standard (I do see references as to "where applicable". How have other organizations addressed this issue? Thanks for the help.


David Mullins

I suppose the standards 3 responses are:
1. It actually might say this in your manual or procedures (some people inadvertently include this in their manual);
2. Your auditor found evidence that this is applicable to you, even though you haven't stated this anywhere (in manual or procedures)(e.g. you use metals that should be supplied with a certificate, you're doing aero engineering, Your purchasing arrangments specify supply to certain requirements, you're in the TGA area, etc, etc.);
3. Your auditor is a _________ (fill in suitable word/s).

More info (industry, location, etc) would provide a more accurate answer.


Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!

You won't find it in the standard as CoC are not required. David has pointed you in the right direction.

CoC are a mini-insurance policy of sorts to some organizations. They hold the supplier accountable for meeting customer requirements. If things go wrong, you might have that to fall back on. But, in my estimation, they are over-rated documents and often fraudulent. It says the right thing when another is true. Some blind faith in that. If you have a good relationship with a supplier, then you probably don't need it anyway (unless your customer requires it).




Fully vaccinated are you?
Originally posted by dominick:

...we received a minor nonconformance for "not requiring Certificates of Compliance" from our vendors on our purchase orders...
There is absolutly no requirement that you specifically have a C of C. If your auditor wrote you up for it I would challange the finding. If you don't you have to hassle each of your suppliers for yet another piece of paper.

Who is your registrar?

4.6.3 Purchasing data

Purchasing documents shall contain data clearly describing the product ordered, including where applicable:

a) the type, class, grade or other precise identification;

b) the title or other positive identification, and applicable issues of specifications, drawings, process requirements, inspection instructions and other relevant technical data, including requirements for approval or qualification of product, procedures, process equipment and personnel;

c) the title, number and issue of the quality system standard to be applied.
Note that this is stuff that YOUR COMPANY is supposed to put on your purchase orders. It says nothing of, nor does it imply, any expectation / requirement by you of your suppliers (vendors).
...3. Your auditor is a _________ (fill in suitable word/s)...
3. Your auditor is in need of training.


Fully vaccinated are you?
Kevin, you must have summitted your response as I was answering just a minute ago...

I agree with Kevin. C of C's are useless. All they do is say "...swear to god! This is exactly what we say it is!" C of C's do not convey data. They're just a statement.

You want to require something think DATA.


While I agree with the comments in general i.e. C of C's are in the main a waste of tree's, if you are purchasing /manufacturing to a specific standard/specification C of C's
can be stipulated as minimum acceptance criteria for certain products e.g. secondary structural steel dependant on application, electrical equipment for use in hazardous atmospheres, type tests etc.

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
if thats the way you think, then i'd bet your receiving inspection documents some where says/implies C of C in lieu of inspection/testing or some such wording....so the natural question is do you stipulate it on the PO? And you should if thats the case. Self inflicted wound...sorry
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