CAPA | Corrective Action & Preventive Action

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In this article we learn about

  • Introduction to CAPA
  • What is Corrective Action?
  • What is Preventive Action?
  • When Corrective Action & Preventive Action (CAPA) implemented?


Everyone is little bit confusing about the concept Corrective Action & Preventive Action (CAPA). What is CAPA?, What is difference between? & How to & Where to implement?. CAPA is important in any organization for improvement. In which we are identified the causes of Non-conformity in systematic way, so that to take action and reduce or eliminate the non-conformity.

What is Corrective Action?

Definition – The action taken on cause of non-conformity (Root cause) to prevent the recurrence.

This action is taken after the problem get produced. To avoid re generation of problem / defect / non-conformity / customer complaint in future, we take action on the causes present in the process, this action is known as the corrective action.

Whatever any actions you take after the defect / failure, which is of Poka-Yoke, and fool-proofing all these are the corrective action only.

What is Preventive Action?

Definition – The action taken on potential causes of non-conformity to prevent the occurrence.

Problem can possible to occur in future, so that we take the action before to avoid the generation of problem / defect / non-conformity / customer complaint in future. So we take action earlier on the possible / potential causes of failure known as the preventive action.

When corrective & Preventive action implemented?

Corrective Action:

  • To resolve the customer complaint.
  • To resolve the unacceptable non-conformity (defect, Failure etc.)
  • If any major change, process shift observed during the Statistical Process Control (SPC) study.
  • To eliminate the concern’s observed during the audit’s (System Audit, Process Audit, Customer Audit, etc.)

Preventive Action

  • While making the Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA). During new project development we identify the potential source of non-conformity (Failure, defect etc.).
  • After the corrective action there is side effect, to avoid this failure earlier we take preventive action.

Try to clear the confusions

Now many persons are confuse about, what is the corrective and preventive action mention in our 8D report, concern action plan report to submit the action plan to customer.

In the customer complaint or any failure scenario, we have to take action to avoid the same complaint / failure in future. The steps is to find out the root cause and take action on root cause, so that here take corrective action.

Now after taking the corrective action, there is some change or side effect of that action may come, which means due to corrective action there is chances of producing the new defect in process. Therefore we identified those defect / failure earlier and take action on the causes of those defects / failure is consider as the preventive action.