Understanding Preventive Action and Root Cause Analysis
Published:20 September 2018
When a non-conformity is identified, either during an audit or as the result of a non-conforming product, good practice is to ensure that two separate sets of action are completed:
• correction (sometimes referred to as immediate corrective action), which involves management of the immediate issue or non-conformity
• preventive action, which is action to ensure that recurrence of the non-conformity is prevented.
Root Cause Analysis
Root cause analysis is a problem-solving process for conducting an investigation into an identified incident, problem, concern or non-conformity. The aim of the root cause analysis is to enable the investigators to look beyond the solution to the immediate problem and understand the fundamental or underlying causes of the situation so that preventive action can be taken.
Root cause analysis is a completely separate process from incident management and immediate corrective action (correction), although they are often conducted in close proximity. The benefits of a comprehensive root cause analysis include:
• identification of permanent solutions
• prevention of recurring failures
• introduction of a logical problem-solving process that can be applied to issues and non-conformities of all sizes.