Corrective Action vs. Preventive (Predictive) Action (CAPA) - A Definitive Discussion

Marc

Captain Nice
Staff member
Admin
#21
Yuppers - U R right.

Corrective Action is a Response to a problem.

Preventive Action is Predictive (a problem *may* occur).

[This message has been edited by Marc Smith (edited 02-21-99).]
 
B

Batman

#22
I see symantics has reared its ugly head again. My experience with preventive, predictive, and corrective has seen many uses in many places in many companies. I have seen final inspection used as preventive action. Someone tried to tell me once that having an escape route in my home in case of fire was part of "Fire Prevention." To me, that's fire "contigency."

With regard to "Corrective Action," my take is that it is usually the result of a customer complaint or an internal finding. First comes "containment," not letting the finding escape. Next comes the corrective action, which "fixes" the occurrence of the issue, after containment activities. If the fire marshal inspects my house, and finds that my last escape route plan was not possible due to an addition to my house, I would "Correct" my escape route. Finally, prevention. Prevention is not allowing something to happen. This is applied to the specific occurrence, and then usually applied systemically, and involves change. Other like products or circumstances could have the same issue, change the system to not allow it to happen. Review of FMEAs, other process flows, etc is usually involved. That system may be that design development work needs enhanced, manufacturing processes need brought on better, customer input needs to be visited more frequently, whatever.

This is my 2.0 cents on this.
 

Marc

Captain Nice
Staff member
Admin
#23
Batman:

For the sake of simplicity - do you agree with my last post? I think we're saying the same thing.
 
B

Batman

#24
Not sure. I usually associate Predictive with either design facet or process development, and with things that you know are going to happen, as in predicting the future. I usually try to keep corrective and preventive together when talking about both together. Obviously there are corrections to systems that happen all the time, and prevention activities that also go on. It can get muddy, as in I PREDICT that this part will fail, this I will CORRECT the precess by installing XXX device therefore I will PREVENT that from happening. It is all in the terminology. That is why I like to speak of corrective actions with preventive actions. Both are reactions. Corrective is fixing something after it happened (which may eventually become the prevention.) Prevention is before it can happen again by not letting it happen again - usually a step beyond the corrective action. Also, in another light, corrective actions can usually be implemented by the folks close to the process, preventive actions are usually "Upper Management" responsibilities. Additional training, new equipment, etc are usually in the hands of management.
Anyway, this in part is how I handle explanations with my folks as to which is which.
 
J

John LeBlanc

#25
Thanks for reviving the topic. We have recently been (once again) hashing this subject around, and another question arises. If you insert a corrective into a process document, does it not require the revision of that document (and its flow chart) to include the corrective? That sounds confusing, I know. Let's try again: Once you identify a corrective to a process, aren't you then going to take the necessary steps to install that corrective? But, if you do, then it will require revision of the process, and will no longer be a corrective, but will become part of the process. That means that it disappears from the corrective part of the process document. Now, you no longer have a corrective in your document.
I sound like a cat chasing its tail, don't I?
 
B

Batman

#26
OK John, I'm off my soapbox. It appears you are trying to link a corrective action to your process docs. I have indicated on level 2 or 3 procedures in the revision page the change to the procedure due to the corrective action. You will have some record of the problem solving effort or other method of discovery that indicates the need for the corrective action, and of course you may also have the PPAP that was the result of the process change. Other than the procedure for accomplishing corrective actions, I don't put any corrective actions in the particular process instruction. I son't think you could, until you know what needs corrected.

If you are asking about normal process adjustments, that is, when a process goes out of control for example, those instructions would be in the process instructions. Note that I said "adjustment" and not "correction." Again, semantics dictates using verbage consistantly. In the past some of these "quality" words were used in different contexts by different folks, and confused many. That is why I have a dictionary in the Level 2 for these global terms. For the benefit of the auditors, I also included in the Level 3 a dictionary of terms common to our facility that could confuse someone from outside.

Hope this helps.
 
#27
New to the board, but I think I like it! Thanks Kevin!

Now for my 2 cents worth.

We just had our ISO audit on 2/5 and the auditor and I had a lengthy discussion on CA vs. PA. He even brought his glossary of ISO terms. It is referenced in ISO 9002, but not directly stated.

Corrective Action prevents a RECURRANCE
Preventive Action prevents an OCCURRANCE

Get it? If it has already happened, then you must correct it. If you see that something MAY happen, but hasn't, then it you would try to prevent it from happenning.

The main problem with presenting potential preventive actions to management, is that the results are hard to verify. How do you tell if your PA worked? Did the thing you were trying to prevent not happen because of your action, or in spite of it? Most benefits of PA are intangible, and hard to quantify. Thus, hard to justify to those who are spending $$ on it. The main advantage to most PA is peace of mind. A warm fuzzy feeling, etc. etc.

There, I feel much better!!! How about y'all?

Kim
 
D

Don Winton

#28
Kim,

Corrective Action prevents a RECURRANCE
Preventive Action prevents an OCCURRANCE
Yea, I usually try to put it like this:

Corrective: Putting out the house fire after it started.
Preventive: Taking action to stop the fire from occurring in the first place.

For example, Are there oily rags in the garage. Remove them and that is preventive.
For example: Do you have a fire alarm? That is corrective. Get out of the house (quick) after the fire has started.

The main problem with presenting potential preventive actions to management, is that the results are hard to verify.
Assuming that results are achievable, verifiable and that you can prove it, management (normally) still has trouble accepting it. That is called the ‘What’s in it for us,’ syndrome. Been there, done that. Really sucks.

BTW, welcome.

Regards,
Don
 

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member
Admin
#29
Oily Rags. Hmmm....

Taking out the oily rags is, in my opinion, a preventive action. Now can I assume that by not taking them out, the facility may burn down? Why not. In terms of risk or replacement being high or costly to an organization, then you may have an arguement on "potential" $$ saved, even in extreme cases. By not taking preventive action here, you leave your fate to the role of the dice. Is this how management wishes to manage, by hard dollars alone? Foolishness! So how can you quantify for the bean counters your savings, justifying your position? If you get to this position, then common sense eludes those who control.

As another point, the "what's in it for me/us" club can go pound sand! If you can't do the 'right things' when you know that they're right, you've got a problem. Challenge a decision? Of course, so long as your challenge is in the best interests of everyone involved, and the organization, or to determine if the decision is well thought out. Each in measure.
 

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member
Admin
#30
Don,

I guess I need to put Sun-Tzu on my list of reading.

Will business ever figure out that most of the costs are infact, unknowable? Everything must have a price tag on it to be valid. What hooey! Take the FMEA process. Now this is a great preventive action process (risk analysis) tool. Now when you rate severity a 9 or 10, how much $$ will be spent on legal fees and liability payouts? How about the ill will of the customer (or do you care)? Could anyone know? So why not just fix the problem? Or should you go back and rate it an 8 and avoid doing anything? When an organization begins to play this wishy-washy game, integrity is lost and renders all you have done useless and invalid. What I see, too many times, everyone is looking for the easy highway to the land of riches. For this, you need innovation and a short-term, get-in-get-out plan because in the end, you tumble and fall quick! Wouldn't want to loose all your profits, do you? Otherwise, the path is difficult, especially alone. So as one, there may be little you can do. But as an organization, the odds get better. Enough of my ramble here, time for others to unload.

Back to the group......
 

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