4.5.2 Nonconformance and Corrective and Preventive
No EMS is perfect - especially in the beginning - and therefore problems with the system will probably occur.
The term used to describe problems with the EMS is
“nonconformance,” not to be confused with “noncompliance.” A nonconformance is a deficiency where implementation is
inconsistent with the EMS description, or the system does not meet the EMS criteria. Whereas “noncompliance” refers to a violation of an environmental standard, “nonconformance” refers specifically to the EMS. Examples of a nonconformance include failure to follow farm
SOPs, failure to review environmental aspects in timeframe specified (i.e. EMS procedures not followed), employees not aware of their EMS responsibilities (not properly trained), etc.
To address a nonconformance, the problem needs to be identified, corrected (corrective action), and prevented from happening in the future (preventive action). Corrective and preventive action allows for ongoing improvement of the EMS and environmental performance.
Corrective and preventive actions should:
resolve the immediate problem;
consider whether the same or similar problems exist
prevent the problem from recurring; and
define the responsibilities and schedules associated with these three steps.
This process will be most successful when employees are encouraged to report any problems they see that might result in a negative environmental impact.
See the link below for a tracking form to help personnel record and report corrective and preventive actions.
The responsible party within this procedure is often the management rep and/or
See the link below for an example of a corrective and
preventive action procedure.
(This procedure can be downloaded and customized by replacing the red highlighted areas with the specifics for your farm. You can incorporate your procedure for this element within your EMS manual or maintain it as a separate document. A small farm may decide to incorporate language within the manual that addresses this element as opposed to having separate documents.)