Non-Conformance vs. Non-Compliance: Real differences or is it just Semantics?
Hello and Happy Friday my Quality and Compliance professionals! I am reaching out in the hopes that you can help me resolve a dilemma. I'm part of a compliance team focused on internally reviewing compliance of operational groups to organizational  processes, but the team itself are not official auditors nor inspectors for the company. That said, while revising our workflows, I am struggling with using the term "non-conformance" for negative findings and have proposed using "non-compliance" as a less industry-standard/formal alternative within our process documentation. Maybe it is just semantics?? You tell it correct to use "non-conformance" and "non-compliance" interchangeably? Or are there clear differences from one to the other? If so, please illuminate me as inquiring minds want to know! 😄  
2 Replies
Duke Okes
143 Posts
A google search finds several folks trying to define the differences, but still pretty muddy.  However, my conclusion was:

- Compliance is more about whether the design of your system meets the requirements
- Conformance is whether or not the design is being followed
Thanks for the reply, Duke. My Google search had about the same results. Seems like a good way to differentiate it.