Definition of the term („What is a corrective action?“)
The ISO 9000 describes a corrective action as a “measure to eliminate the cause of a detected fault or another undesirable situation”. Thus, the focus is does not deal with the removal of faults e.g. by repair but rather with detecting and elimination causes for faults in order to prevent the same faults from occurring again.
What is required in corrective actions?
The ISO 9001 asks for corrective actions to eliminate the causes of errors with reference to recurrence. Moreover, it requires that the resulting measures have to be matched to the scope of the detected error. Furthermore, a clearly documented procedure is requested with the following scope:
- Evaluation of errors (including customer complaints),
- Determining the causes of errors,
- Evaluation of the required actions to prevent the recurrence of errors,
- Definition of required actions and their implementation,
- Documentation of the results of the actions taken and
- Evaluation of the effectiveness of the corrective actions taken.
What is the difference between corrective and preventive actions?
Generally, two different procedures to prevent errors are differentiated. The corrective action on the one hand and the preventive action on the other hand. If a fault or deviation has already been detected, the further procedure is described as a corrective action in the form of an error analysis and eliminating measure. However, if no fault or deviation has been detected yet, but a possible cause of errors has already been identified, then the following procedure is declared as a preventive action.
Benefits of corrective actions
Initiated corrective actions facilitate the maintenance and improvement of product and service quality as well as the quality of the internal processes and stabilize these aspects in the long run.