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Updated on January 8, 2014

Are you getting the same problem again and again in your work ? Is your problem at work not resolving? Do You have several repetitive breakdowns in your production line? Is your boss firing at you for repeating the same problem? If so, you need to be aware of the difference between Correction & Corrective Action.

I would like to illustrate the difference by an example.


An example of Correction - A Production Line was stopped due to a breakdown. The reason was, one of the coupling in the conveyor was broken. The Production Manager called out the Technical In Charge to rectify the problem. He instructed his technicians to replace the coupling immediately, the matter was resolved and the production resumed. A couple of days later they faced same problem again but in another location of the conveyor and they followed the same process to rectify the problem. This breakdown was repetitive, as such down time (break down hours) of the plant was increasing and the problem was not solved although it was repaired.

The above is a classic example of CORRECTION. We noted that they were repeating the same process to resolve the problem that was repetitive. They corrected the problem, but they failed to correct the root cause. Lets see what are the possible corrective action could be:

Root Cause Analysis

Corrective Action

Corrective Action means an action/actions introduced to eliminate the problem occurring again. A corrective action can only be taken by identifying the root cause and remedying the root cause.To identify root cause of a problem a popular method is to use the Root Cause Analysis / Why-Why analysis. Let see how in the above example the production manager is going to take the corrective action.

Example of Corrective Action: The Production Manager takes this matter in to investigation. He does a root cause analysis in other words a why-why analysis. Some why's could be asked to identify the root cause:

Why the coupling was broken?

Probable answer could be : The maintenance was not done for the coupling.

Why the maintenance was not done?

Because it was not in the Maintenance Sheet which the technician had.

Why it was not in the Maintenance Sheet?

Because the maintenance sheet was not reviewed periodically.

Why it was not reviewed periodically?

Because the maintenance procedure did not mention anything about reviewing the Maintenance Sheets for Machine.

The root cause: Maintenance procedure did not mention about reviewing the Machine Maintenance Sheet.

Corrective action was to review the procedure and update the procedures accordingly and train the maintenance team on the revised procedure.

There could be many other root causes. For the sake of simplicity, I just highlighted one root cause.

Therefore, corrective action is to identify the root cause and resolve it from the root/base.Once the corrective action is taken it should be verified for effectiveness after a certain period of time.

Choose the Corrective Action

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Difference between Correction & Corrective Action

In simple words, Correction is rectifying the problem but Corrective Action is to eliminate the root cause of the problem (so it does not repeat)

Is it enough only if we do a corrective action? Or do we have to have something else? Check out my hub on Corrective Action Vs Preventive Action


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    • dilshanh profile image

      dilshanh 6 years ago

      Exactly true,, Corrective Action If implemented in the organisation would reap excellent benefits.

    • TroyM profile image

      TroyM 6 years ago

      Corrective Action - this is the best alternative. SOunds like we need more of this today, but get less.