We re-typed the old MIL-I-45208A specification that was archived in 1996. The following is original content from the old spec. Click here to evaluate kit to implement this inspection system.

This MIL-I-45208A specification has been approved by the Department of Defense and is mandatory for use by all Agencies (before 1996).


1.1 Scope. This MIL-I-45208A specification establishes requirements for contractors’ inspection systems.
These requirements pertain to the inspections and tests necessary to substantiate product conformance to drawings, specifications and contract requirements and to all inspection and tests required by the contract. These requirements are in addition to those inspections and tests set forth in applicable specifications and other contractual documents.

1.2 Applicability

1.2.1 Applicability. This MIL-I-45208A specification shall apply to all suppliers or services when referenced in the item specification, contract or order.

1.2.2 Relation to other contract requirements. The inspection system requirements set forth in this MIL-I-45208A specification shall be satisfied in addition to all detail requirements contained in the statement of work or in other parts of the contract. The contractor is responsible for compliance with all provisions of the contract and for furnishing specified articles which meet all requirements of the contract. To the extent of any inconsistency between the contract schedule or its general provisions and this MIL-I-45208A specification the contract schedule and the general provisions shall control.

1.2.3 Options. This MIL-I-45208A specification contains fewer requirements than specification MIL-Q-9858, Quality Program Requirements. The contractor may use, at his option, the requirements of MIL-Q-9858, in whole or in part, whenever this specification is specified, provided no increase in price or fee is involved. This option permits one uniform system in the event the contractor is already complying with MIL-Q-9858.


2.1 SPECIFICATIONS – MILITARY. The following documents of the issue in effect on date of invitations for bids form a part of this MIL-I-45208A specification to the extent specified herein.

2.2 Amendments and Revisions. Whenever this MIL-I-45208A specification is amended or revised subsequent to its contractually effective date, the contractor may follow or authorize his subcontractors to follow the amended or revised document provided no increase in price or fee is required. The contractor shall not be required to follow the amended or revised document except as a change in contract. If the contractor elects to follow the amended or revised document, he shall notify the Contracting Officer in writing of this election. When the contractor elects to follow the provisions of an amendment or revision, he must follow them in full.

2.3 Ordering Government Documents. Copies of specifications, standards and drawings required by contractors in connection with specific procurements may be obtained from the procuring agency or as otherwise directed by the contracting officer.


3.1 Contractor Responsibilities. The contractor shall provide and maintain an inspection system which will assure that all supplies and services submitted to the Government for acceptance conform to contract requirements whether manufactured or processed by the contractor, or procured from subcontractors or vendors. The contractor shall perform or have performed the inspection and tests required to substantiate product conformance to drawing, specifications and contract requirements and shall also perform or have performed all inspections and tests otherwise required by the contract. The contractors inspection system shall be documented and shall be available for review by the Government Representative prior to the initiation of production and throughout the life of the contract The Government at its own option may furnish written notice of the acceptability or non-acceptability of the inspection system. The contractor shall notify the Government Representative in writing of any change to his inspection system. The inspection system shall be subject to disapproval if changes thereto would result in nonconforming product.

3.2 Documentation, Records, Corrective Action

3.2.1 Inspection and Testing Documentation. Inspection and testing shall be prescribed by clear, complete and current instructions. The instructions shall assure inspection and test of materials, work in process and completed articles as required by the item specification and the contract. In addition, criteria for approval and rejection of product shall be included.

3.2.2 Records. The contractor shall maintain adequate records of all inspections and tests. The records shall indicate the nature and number of observations made, the number and type of deficiencies found, the quantities approved and rejected and the nature of corrective action taken as appropriate.

3.2.3 Corrective Action. The contractor shall take prompt action to correct assignable conditions which have resulted or could result in the submission to the Government of supplies and services which do not conform to 1) the quality assurance provisions of the item specification, 2) inspections and tests required by the contract, and 3) other inspections and tests required to substantiate product conformance.

3.2.4 Drawings and Changes. The contractors inspection system shall provide for procedures which will assure that the latest applicable drawings, specifications and instructions required by the contract, as well as authorized changes thereto, are used for fabrication, inspection and testing.

3.3 Measuring and Test Equipment. The contractor shall provide and maintain gages and other measuring and testing devices necessary to assure that supplies conform to the technical requirements.
In order to assure continued accuracy, these devices shall be calibrated at established intervals against certified standards which have known valid relationships to national standards. If production tooling, such as jigs, fixtures, templates, and patterns is used as a media of inspection, such devices shall also be proved for accuracy at established intervals. Calibration of inspection equipment shall be in accordance with MIL-C-45662. When required, the contractor’s measuring and testing equipment shall be made available for use by the Government Representative to determine conformance of product with contract requirements. In addition, if conditions warrant, contractors’ personnel shall be made available for operation of such devices and for verification of their accuracy and condition.

3.4 Process Control. Process control procedures shall be an integral part of the inspection system when such inspections are a part of the specification or the contract.

3.5 Indication of Inspection Status. The contractor shall maintain a positive system for identifying the inspection status of supplies. Identification may be accomplished by means of stamps, tags, routing cards, move tickets, tote box cards or other control devices. Such controls shall be of a design distinctly different from Government inspection identification.

3.6 Government-Furnished Material. When material is furnished by the Government, the contractor’s procedures shall include as a minimum the following:

  • A) Examination upon receipt, consistent with practicability, to detect damage in transit
  • B) Inspection for completeness and proper type.
  • C) Periodic inspection and precautions to assure adequate storage conditions and to guard against damage from handling and deterioration during storage.
  • D) Functional testing, either prior to or after installation, or both, as required by contract to determine satisfactory operation.
  • E) Identification and protection from improper use or disposition; and
  • F) Verification of quantity.

3.6.1 Damaged Government-Furnished Material. The contractor shall report to the Government Representative any Government-Furnished material found damaged, malfunctioning or otherwise unsuitable for use. In the event of damage or malfunction during or after installation, the contractor shall determine and record probable cause and necessity for withholding material from use.

3.7 Nonconforming Material. The contractor shall establish and maintain an effective and positive system for controlling nonconforming material, including procedures for the identification, segregation, presentation and disposition of reworked or repaired supplies. Repair of nonconforming supplies shall be in accordance with documented procedures acceptable to the Government. The acceptance of nonconforming supplies is the prerogative of and shall be as prescribed by the Government.
All nonconforming supplies shall be positively identified to prevent use, shipment and intermingling with conforming supplies. Holding areas, mutually agreeable to the contractor and the Government Representative, shall be provided by the contractor.

3.8 Qualified Products. The inclusion of a product on the Qualified Products List only signifies that at one time the manufacturer made a product which met specification requirements. It does not relieve the contractor of his responsibility for furnishing supplies that meet all specification requirements or for performing specified inspections and tests for such material.

3.9 Sampling Inspection. Sampling inspection procedures used by the contractor to determine quality conformance of supplies shall be as stated in the contract or shall be subject to approval by the Government.

3.10 Inspection Provisions. Alternative inspection procedures and inspection equipment may be used by the contractor when such procedures and equipment provide, as a minimum, the quality assurance required in the contractual documents. Prior to applying such alternative inspection procedures and inspection equipment, the contractor shall submit them in a written proposal and shall demonstrate for the approval of the Government Representative that their effectiveness is equal to or better than the contractual quality assurance procedure. In cases of dispute as to whether certain procedures of the contractor’s inspection system provide equal assurance, the procedures of this MIL-I-45208A specification, the item specification and other contractual documents shall apply.

3.11 Government Inspection at Subcontractor or Vendor Facilities. The Government reserves the right to inspect at source supplies or services not manufactured or performed within the contractors facility. Government inspection shall not constitute acceptance; nor shall it in any way replace contractor inspection or otherwise relieve the contractor of his responsibility to furnish an acceptable end item.
When inspection at subcontractors’ plants is performed by the Government, such inspection shall not be used by the contractors as evidence of effective inspection by such subcontractors. The purpose of this inspection is to assist the Government Representative at the contractor’s facility to determine the conformance of supplies or services with contract requirements. Such inspection can only be requested by or under authorization of the Government Representative.

3.11.1 Government Inspection Requirements. When Government inspection is required, the contractor shall add to his purchasing document the following statement: “Government inspection is required prior to shipment from your plant. Upon receipt of this order, promptly notify the Government Representative who normally services your plant so that appropriate planning for Government inspection can be accomplished.”

3.11.2 Purchasing Documents. When, under authorization of the Government Representative, copies of the purchasing document are to be furnished directly by the subcontractor or the vendor to the Government Representative at his facility rather than through Government channels, the contractor shall add to his purchasing document a statement substantially as follows: “On receipt of this order, promptly furnish a copy to the Government Representative who normally services your plant or, if none, to the nearest Army, Navy, Air Force or Defense Supply Agency inspection office. In the event the representative or office cannot be located, our purchasing agent should be notified immediately.”

3.11.3 Referenced Data. All documents and referenced data for purchases applying to a Government contract shall be available for review by the Government Representative to determine compliance with the requirements for the control of such purchases. Copies of purchasing documents required for Government inspection purposes shall be furnished in accordance with the instructions of the Government Representative.

3.12 Receiving Inspection. Subcontracted or purchased supplies shall be subjected to inspection after receipt, as necessary, to assure conformance to contract requirements. The contractor shall report to the Government Representative any nonconformance found on Government source-inspected supplies and shall require his supplier to coordinate with his Government Representative on corrective action.

3.13 Government Evaluation. The contractor’s inspection system and supplies generated by the system shall be subject to evaluation and verification inspection by the Government Representative to determine its effectiveness in supporting the quality requirements established in the detail specification, drawings and contract and as prescribed herein.

4. Quality Assurance Provisions. This section is not applicable to this MIL-I-45208A specification.

5. Preparation for Delivery. This section is not applicable to this MIL-I-45208A specification.

6. Notes

6.1 Intended Use. This MIL-I-45208A specification will apply to the procurement of supplies and services specified by the military procurement agencies.

6.2 Order Data. Procurement documents should specify the title, number and date of this MIL-I-45208A specification.

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