Scope: This procedure refers to all supplies which may eventually affect the quality of the EBME department's services, either ordered by the EBME department as part of a general purchase order or from non-conformances which may arise as part of the normal work processes, failures of the Department to provide suitable sub contractors, and the internal audit programme.
Customer complaint handling, corrective actions and preventive actions are included.



Any difference between an official purchase (what did your order?) and the delivered product (What you actually received).  Any part of the day-to-day work of the department where the workmanship and  professionalism (in the opinion of the EBME Manager and/or the quality manager) does not reach an acceptable standard. (as described in the standard operating procedures / work instructions)

(There will always be minor requests, enquiries and observations that do not require  recording. The degree of seriousness, and hence those which should be recorded is at the discretion of the EBME Manager.)

Non-conformances are also any discrepancy between written procedures and working practices either as the result of an internal quality audit or observation by any member of the team or the customer.


It is the responsibility of the EBME Manager, and the Quality assurance Manager to ensure that all aspects of this procedure are adhered to and the EBME team and customer are fully aware of the complaint process.


All goods and supplies that affect quality received into the department will be personally checked by the delegated team member.  


All goods and services that affect the quality of the department are covered in this procedure and should be checked for compliance upon delivery of the goods or service. (Is it right?)

Quality stores

Supplies or sub contractors that do not reach the required standard are non-conformances. Stores that are non-conforming will be totally segregated.

If the discrepancy is in the quantity rather than the quality, this will be noted on the delivery note and purchase order, the supplier will be informed by telephone, the goods will remain with the department but will be segregated from other stores and marked accordingly until the discrepancy has been resolved.
If they are to be used in an emergency, then a 'concession form' will be issued by the quality assurance manager after approval by the EBME manager. An explanation of recorded non-conformances will be recorded by the quality assurance manager (when discovered as the result of internal quality audits) with an action plan decided upon that will be monitored through to completion.
It is the responsibility of the Quality Assurance Manager to investigate all non-conformances to record all non-conformances and customer complaints for record purposes. Where sub contractors fail to reach the required standards, it will be noted on their records. The Senior Management team will be informed. The subcontractors themselves will also be informed of any shortfall by the EBME Manager and an action plan agreed with the supplier that will be monitored through to completion.
Where there may be a requirement to use the sub-contractor elsewhere in the organisation, any department likely to use their services will be informed of the non-conformance.
It is the responsibility of the EBME Manager to control and handle customer complaints and ensure corrective actions are applied.


Customer complaintsAll customer complaints must be recorded. The corrective action taken, and subsequent preventive action will be recorded and the trends analysed by the Quality Assurance Manager. Documented non-conformances will be analysed to determine if patterns emerge. Efforts will then be made eliminate the errors thus ensuring continual improvement. Negative trends (for example zero non conformances) will also be evaluated. It is expected that any good quality system will identify and record non-conformances. If 'zero' non-conformances are recorded, this in itself is usually an indicator that the quality system is being ignored (and therefore a failure in the system).
The Quality Assurance Manager, in handling both customer complaints and major non-conformances, will analyse the actions taken and the actions to prevent reoccurrence.  The Quality Assurance Manager will also ensure that preventative action is taken to eliminate the cause of all faults using all the information available, effectively dealing with problems and reviewing the action regularly. All documented non-conformances and Customer Complaints will be reviewed at the departmental and corporate Management Review meetings.
The Quality Assurance Manager will maintain a log of all Customer Complaints in the Quality Records Folder.  Preventive Action will be taken when appropriate.




Dr John Sandham CEng FIHEEM MIET




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