Corrective Actions – Make them Work For You

Corrective Actions

Corrective Actions Provide Opportunities for Improvement

Corrective Actions are excellent opportunities for process improvement and increasing profitability.   It is necessary however, to implement a process to these control corrective actions.  This is often perceived by some as being a cumbersome, unnecessarily complicated, and time consuming process.  However, a properly constructed Quality Management System can ensure that the process is not excessively used on small problems. 

It is, therefore, worth a second look at how you can make a corrective actions system work to help you find improvements.

When Are Corrective Actions Appropriate

Actionable items can be found when conducting an analysis of your organizations performance.  These items could be found when reviewing:

  • feedback from staff
  • customer complaints
  • hazard reporting
  • product inspections
  • resolving non-conforming products or services
  • reviewing system failures
  • reviewing regulatory requirements
  • testing, inspecting, and monitoring of plant and equipment
  • internal audits
  • external audits

When an issue is identified, an investigation should be undertaken to determine the root causes of the problem.  At this point, both short term containment and permanent corrective or preventative actions should be formulated to correct the problem.  These proposed actions should then be reviewed through a risk assessment to determine their acceptability.  At this point a decision can be made as to what actions if any are recommended.

Implementation of Action

It is important to ensure that the action to eliminate the root cause of a problem can be accomplished.  An assessment should be made if training or retraining of staff is required.  All of these steps should be adequately documented as required by the applicable QMS standard requirements.  Once this has been accomplished the corrective action can be closed out. 

Verifying the Problem Has Been Resolved

Once an action is implemented, management should schedule a review to analyze the results of the corrective action.  This should include an assessment of if the action has been implemented as specified and if the corrective action was effective.  After the actions have been verified they should be monitored and improved if necessary thereby closing the plan, do, check, act cycle.

The Advantage of Engaging in Corrective Actions and Continuous Improvement

Non conformities will always be a reality for providers of products and services.  However, ‘dealing with it’ with a quality management system means that you eliminate the problem and make sure it will not happen again.  Thus, when viewed through the lens of continuous improvement they become opportunities .  These opportunities can result in improved profitability and increased customer satisfaction. 

Engaging in a Quality Management System

Your organization can greatly improve with an appropriately implemented quality management system.  The challenge is to tailor it to meet the specific context of the organization. The context of the organization includes ascertaining the needs and expectation of concerned parties, the culture of the organization, and the statutory requirements particular to the locale and type of enterprise. 

Once the context has been determined the scope of the management system can be specified and tailored to address the risks the organization faces.  Then relevant policies, procedures, processes, and work instructions can be created to begin the continuous improvement cycle.

CVG Strategy Quality Management Expertise

Achieving the highest possible return on investment is important, regardless of which quality management systems standard you organization implements. Taking advantage of all the features of that standard requires an understanding of Quality Management Systems and the growing number of requirements businesses face in their specific sectors.

We can help you implement a quality management system, which will include a risks and opportunities procedure.  CVG Strategy has prepared, trained and implemented quality management systems for manufacturing companies for over a decade.

Our Exemplar Global and Probitas Certified Quality Experts provide quality consultation in the Quality and Inspection disciplines to customers across North America.  Our quality strategy allows clients new to Quality Management Systems to rapidly implement a tailored system. 

We have assisted customers in implementing business management opportunities into their quality management systems by coupling our QMS expertise with our extensive experience in export compliance and product test and evaluation. 

CVG Strategy is a consultancy offering coaching, mentoring, training and program development focused on areas including Business Process Improvement, ITAR and Export Compliance, Cyber Security and Product Test and Evaluation


Kevin Gholston

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