News & Commentary on ISO Management System Standards

    Checking the Effectiveness of Corrective Action

    Lead Auditor discussing something with his fellow auditors

    All ISO Management System Standards require that the effectiveness of Corrective Action be checked.  It's rarely done well. 

    Let's take ISO 9001:2015 as an example.

    ISO 9001:2015 Clause 10.2, Nonconformity and Corrective Action, requires that when a nonconformity occurs, including those arising from complaints, the organisation shall "review the effectiveness of any corrective action taken"

    That being the case, four things usually happen:

    1. the requirement is ignored;
    2. the signature to complete  a Corrective Action Report has no significance stated in a procedure;
    3. the persons responsible don't know of any significance to their signature being added to the report; 
    4. the signature confirms that action was taken, but whether it was sufficient to prevent recurrence was not considered.

    And that's just the point - taking corrective actions to prevent the recurrence of costly and time-consuming issues. Unless you take time to monitor and note down changes following corrections in your management system, you don't know.

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    Verifying the Effectiveness of Corrective Action with a Checklist

    The best way we know to monitor the effectiveness of action taken is to create a record using a form such as that shown here and for this to be a documented part of the Corrective Action Process.

    1. Check if operating personnel were made aware of the change and the purpose of the change
    2. Check if the organisation considered what would be required to implement the change, such as classroom training, on-the-job training, examples, new standards, directives issued, operator surveys, and so on
    3. Check if all relevant documents, system requirements, and recordkeeping requirements were modified to reflect the change to the process or systems, such as...
      • Instructions
      • Bills of materials
      • Formulations
      • Testing and Inspection
      • Specification and design
      • Packaging and markings
      • New purchased materials
      • Product storage
      • Service procedures
    4. Check if the person or function responsible for the authorisation of process changes was clearly designated
    5. Check if the product or service provided to the customer was affected and if the customer was, were they notified of the change
    6. Check if the change has been followed consistently
    7. Check if output measures identified to monitor and verify that the process is achieving the desired result were identified


    Would you like a free copy of our Effectiveness of Corrective Action Checklist?

    Corrective Action Implementation Checklist


    For a free download click the button …

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    deGRANDSON Global is an ISO Certified Educational Organization

    In October 2021 we secured certification to three education-related ISO Standards.  We now have a university-grade management system in place conforming to the requirements of …

    • ISO 21001, Educational Organizational Management System,
    • ISO 29993, Learning Services outside formal Education,  and
    • ISO 29994, Learning Services – additional requirements for Distance Learning.

    We have chosen ISO 21001 certification because, unlike IRCA and Exemplar badges (which in our opinion are commercially compromised), it is based on independent third-party assessment.  It is a ‘university grade’ standard in use globally by schools, colleges, and universities to demonstrate their competence.

    Note: First published December 2017; updated February 2021.

    Written by Dr John FitzGerald

    Director & Founder of deGRANDSON Global. Spent 15 years in the manufacturing industry and 25 years training, consulting & auditing management systems
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