Specific ISO requirement to fill in all spaces on a move tag?


Retired Old Goat
Staff member
any auditor worth his/her salt is going to have a flag go up when they see one that isn't completed
As a clarification - It is true that many forms/tags, for example most job travelers that actually follow the job competely through the process, may have data entered at different steps by different people, so at a given operation (for example) the form/tag will not be completely filled out. But typically forms/tags such as job travelers are 'custom' printed. In such cases it comes back to the each employee knowing what portions of the form/tag it is their responsibility to fill out (and they know how they know what they are responsible to fill in as well as when).


Quality Manager
If those are just too good a price to pass up then turn them over and see if the other side is blank. If so make a procedure that says to write on the blank side the customer name, work order #, quantity, and part number and rev. But you could probably get some blank tags too. I like having custom ones with the required fields but I also know that's not always an option.


Involved In Discussions
At the end of the day, as others have said there is no ISO specific requirement to fill in all boxes. As an auditor however I would question why the boxes were being left blank. My concern with blank boxes is you do not know if they have been forgotten or intentionally left blank. If your procedure states "Only fill in details on the XXX XXX XXX and XXX lines" then all is well. If the procedure states "complete all boxes" then there may be a non-conformance, albeit a very minor one.

it all comes down to what your internal procedures say. If you have a procedure that says fill out the boxes then you fill out the boxes, if you do not, don't.

Personally, I have a good documentation practice procedure that states no box must be left blank and must either be struck through or marked N/A. This is predominantly due to using a generic test sheet for several different items and the tests not conducted must be marked N/A.


A problem shared...
Staff member
Super Moderator
As an auditor however I would question why the boxes were being left blank. My concern with blank boxes is you do not know if they have been forgotten or intentionally left blank.
Why? Why do so many auditors start off looking at the negatives? Talking about "what procedures require" is keeping Quality Management in the 20th century. Today's auditors should be asking about what's effective - of management. Anything else delays and confounds the lower levels of the organization and keeps the QMS as a simple compliance issue. Effective auditors ask and seek information about what's the effect on not completing the tag...


Involved In Discussions
I would question it, the explanation that is given above in the thread would be plenty enough information and I certainly would not raise this instance as anything apart from potentially to recommend using blank tags as someone else suggested.

I would not consider looking for negatives, just asking to understand the process. I completely agree there is no point in doing work for work's sake and N/A'ing the fields on this card, in the situation above, adds no value due to the nature of how they are being used.

There are however certain situations in where leaving a box blank may not be suitable or acceptable. It is all situationally dependent which is why I would ask the question.

The reason for mentioning what the procedures require is, if a procedure says you should be doing it, you should be doing it. Regardless if that procedure is asking something unreasonable or nonsensical, in that situation the problem is the procedure and it should be updated in line with current practice.


Involved In Discussions
Let's consider under what clause the auditor could write the non-conformance - and then establish a defence against it.

There are possibilities for a N/C under "7.5.2 When creating and updating documented information, the organization shall ensure appropriate:
a) identification and description (e.g. a title, date, author, or reference number);".

So, is the identification and description on the tag appropriate?

Another possibility is under "8.1e) determining, maintaining and retaining documented information to the extent necessary:
1) to have confidence that the processes have been carried out as planned;
2) to demonstrate the conformity of products and services to their requirements."

So, does the information on the tag demonstrate that the process has been carried out as planned and does it demonstrate conformity of the product?

Also consider 8.5.2 "The organization shall use suitable means to identify outputs when it is necessary to ensure the conformity of products and services."
Is the tag 'suitable means'?

And "8.6 The organization shall retain documented information on the release of products and services. The documented information shall include:
a) evidence of conformity with the acceptance criteria;
b) traceability to the person(s) authorizing the release."

So long as the tag demonstrates this, you're fine.

Just examples of where the auditor could raise N/Cs, but challenge any auditor who comments about empty boxes.


A problem shared...
Staff member
Super Moderator
There are however certain situations in where leaving a box blank may not be suitable or acceptable.
Are there? If so, what's the down side? Since the OP stated off with explaining the CB audit will write an NC, are you talking about this from the CB audit perspective? It concerns me that any auditor applying spurious criteria to a situation, looking to justify why it was "worth" digging into this...
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