What’s the difference between Corrective action and Preventive Action?

Correction is an action taken to restore an entity to operational condition - fix, rework, repair are all corrections.

Corrective action is action planned or taken to stop something from recurring. It could be a one-off event, a recurring event or an inherent condition. Corrective action can, therefore, be considered to be an instrument of both process control and process improvement. A problem has to exist for you to take corrective action. When actual problems do not exist but there is a possibility of a problem occurring, the action of preventing the occurrence of the problem is a preventive action. One cannot therefore take both corrective and preventive action following an incident or nonconformity. Preventive action takes many forms. Both planning and training are preventive actions. Risk assessment, failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA), hazard and critical control point analysis (HACCP) are all techniques that serve to prevent failure or nonconformity. This explanation may not align with common usage of the terms but is the interpretation given in ISO 9000:2015 and hence is what the terms are meant to mean in the ISO 9000 family of standards, although the term preventive action is no longer used in ISO 9001 because it has been superceded by the concept risk-based-thinking.

ISO 9001





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