Corrective Action, Preventive Action, and Defect Repair are the most commonly used key elements in the quality management system. You must understand these terms in order to have a better command over the quality management processes in the PMBOK Guide.
Therefore, in this blog post, I am going to explain you these three quality management terms with examples so that you could acquire a better understanding of these terms.
Okay, let’s get started…
Defect Repair is an easy concept—repair the defects. However, the difference between corrective action and preventive action is so thin that many people get confused while trying to differentiate them.
In corrective action, you try to take action to correct the non-conformance event that happened in the past. Whereas, in preventive action, you take action to avoid or mitigate any potential non-conformance event that may occur in the future.
Let us discuss it in further detail.
Defect Repair is a process of repairing the defective part or replacing it, as needed. For example, let us say that you are manufacturing some component. Suddenly you see that a component is in bad shape or has any kind of discrepancy or non-conformity. You will physically inspect the material and you will see if this defect can be corrected. If this defect can be corrected, you will correct it. And if this defect cannot be corrected, then you will simply replace it.
Defect Repair is also known as the correction and it is performed when the product does not meet the quality requirements.
Corrective Action is a future response to the defect repair process or the correction, so that the cause of error or non-conformity will not occur again. For example let us say that during the inspection you find some defective component, and you corrected the defective component. Now, you don’t want this defect to happen again. Therefore, you will look into root cause of the problem, find a solution, and apply it to your operations so that the defects do not not occur again.
In other words, you can say that the Corrective Actions are the steps taken to correct the root problem and stop the recurrence of deviation.
Corrective Action is a reactive process and it is performed to bring the deviation under control.
Preventive Action is an action that is taken to avoid any anticipated future defects that may appear in the component. For example, let us say that you are going to start production of some component. Before starting the production process, you think that some defects may appear on the component. Therefore, you review your processes and procedures and make some changes (if needed) so that the cause of anticipated defects could be prevented.
Preventive Action is a proactive process.
Please note that there is a difference between Corrective Action and Preventive Action. In corrective action, a problem has occurred and you try to make sure that this problem should not recur.
On the other hand, in preventive action, a problem has not yet occurred. You simply take some measures so that any problem should not occur.
In other words, you can say that the preventive action is a process of identification of the most likely cause of any potential non-conformity in order to prevent it from initially occurring.
Preventive Actions are performed to ensure that there should not be any deviation from the baselines.
This was all about the Corrective Action, Preventive Action and Defect Repair. Please share your thoughts in the comments section.
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