Corrective action (also known as a Corrective Action Plan (CAP)) is the process of taking corrective steps to identify the root causes of a problem, and then implementing a solution to fix the root cause so that it does not recur. It is designed to improve processes within organizations so that problems don’t reoccur. It does not aim to fix a problem temporarily but to reduce damage.

Correction is the corrective action to remove a nonconformity. Preventative Action is a related concept. It is used to eliminate the potential cause of future non-conformities. When a preventive plan is used to correct a problem already occurring, it becomes a corrective one.

Corrective and preventative actions (CAPA) are a strategy to identify the root cause of the problem and implement a solution to stop it from happening again (preventative or corrective), as well as document the solution. CAPA can be used in conjunction with the lean six-sigma to encourage continuous improvement and effectiveness of company processes.

Three benefits of corrective action

Action plans are a cohesive strategy for implementing change in an organization. They are widely recognized as a key tool for improving process quality. These are just a few ways that organizations can benefit from a formal process for problem-solving.

1. Set up a time frame for completion

Because of the potential dangers and waste that it causes, problems cannot be ignored. Implementing corrective actions should be quick and efficient.

2. Clear instructions on how to implement change

Teams can manage, monitor, develop, improve, and ultimately evolve solutions quickly with a written strategy. The formal CAP process also records all decisions and their rationale. This document can be used to answer any questions during implementation and guide the evaluation process.

3. Resolve employee performance issues

To address performance issues, a CAP can be created to provide employees with a clear strategy to show their willingness to improve. Specific, measurable, and achievable goals that are relevant, timely, relevant, and applicable (SMART) encourage action and allow for transparent evaluation.

What are the benefits of corrective actions?

The root cause of the problem is the best way to prevent future problems. For many reasons, corrective actions are a crucial strategy to increase organizational efficiency.

1. Systemic problems can be solved by implementing change

It is easy to overlook recurring issues as part of the change process. A formal change process can be used to identify problems that are deeply embedded in a process. These issues can be addressed to improve the organization’s efficiency and foster a culture for continuous improvement.

2. Documents the entire process

A formal corrective procedure for dealing with problems is a transparent and documented account of the steps taken to address the root cause. This is especially important for regulatory compliance issues that require extensive documentation. It also helps evaluate the actions taken to address the problem and ensure that it does not recur.

3. Future developments will be based on this foundation

Innovation is driven by change. A formal process for corrective action provides a platform for employees to discuss business operations and voice their opinions. Employees are often discouraged from taking on more abstract tasks that aren’t part of their daily work.