IS0 9001:2015

Clause 8.5.3 Property belonging to customers or external providers

Under ISO 9001:2015, organisations are required to exercise care with property belonging to customers or external providers (suppliers / subcontractors) while it is under the organisation’s control or being used by the organisation.

Organisations are also required to identify, verify, protect and safeguard customers or external provider’s property provided for use or incorporation into the products and services provided.

When the property of a customer or external provider is lost, damaged or otherwise found to be unsuitable for use, the organisation is required report this to the customer or external provider and retain documented information (records) on the occurrence.

It is also noted that customers or external provider’s property can include materials, components, tools and equipment, premises, intellectual property (drawings, specifications) and also personal data.


Note that requirements cover not only customer property, but also property belonging to external providers. The definition of property included intellectual property and personal data in the 2008 release of ISO 9001, this has also now been expanded to include materials, components, tools and equipment and premises. EG:

  • Raw materials, castings / blanks or other components for further processing, “free issued” to the organisation by the customer which must be appropriately identified, stored and controlled,
  • Product returned for investigation under warranty,
  • Plant and equipment serviced on site at the customer or in house by the organisation,
  • Product received for subcontract processing such as heat treatment, painting, plating etc,
  • Jigs / tooling, gauging or other test equipment loaned as part of a contract,
  • The customer’s buildings, plant, equipment and infrastructure where organisations are carrying out on site installation activities,
  • Vehicles and returnable packaging,
  • Computer records and data.

When designing processes to “exercise care with property belonging to customers or external providers” consideration should also be given to the requirements identified in articles 8.5.2 - Identification and traceability and 8.5.4 - Preservation.

Audit Check:

Auditors will wish to verify that any property belonging to customers or external providers, has been considered as part of the management system processes and is being controlled and treated according to requirements. IE any risks considered and mitigated.

A typical example could be the processes and monitors for the care and control of Customer owned jigs / tooling, or suppliers / subcontractors returnable packaging. (The “loss” of pallets / stillage’s, is notoriously problematic in some industries!)

This article is the property of David Barker Consulting © and is free for you to use. If you wish to reproduce elsewhere, please be so kind as to ask permission first and credit me as your source. If you need any further assistance, feel free to use my contacts page to get in touch and let me know how I can help!

David Barker CQP MCQI

ISO 9001:2015

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