CAPA | Corrective Action & Preventive Action

In this article, we learn about below topics of CAPA

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


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

What is Corrective Action?

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

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

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

What is Preventive Action?

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

The problem can possibly occur in the future so we take the action before to avoid the generation of problems/defects / non-conformity / customer complaints in the future. So we take action earlier on the possible/potential causes of failure known as preventive action.

When is corrective & Preventive action implemented?

Corrective Action:

  • To resolve the customer complaint.
  • To resolve the unacceptable non-conformity (defect, Failure, etc.)
  • If any major change or process shift is observed during the Statistical Process Control (SPC) study.
  • To eliminate the concern’s observed during the audits (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 a side effect, to avoid this failure earlier we take preventive action.

Try to clear the confusion

Now many persons are confused about, what is the corrective and preventive action mentioned in our 8D report, concerning the action plan report to submit the action plan to the customer.

In the customer complaint or any failure scenario, we have to take action to avoid the same complaint/failure in the future. The steps are to find out the root cause and take action on the root cause so that here we 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 are chances of producing a new defect in the process. Therefore we identified those defects/failures earlier and take action on the causes of those defects/failures is considered as preventive action.

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