Root cause and Corrective Action training

Hello, I am preparing a RCCA training session for all the managers and team leads of my organization. If you have some recommendations or suggestions on how to make this training effective. I would appreciate it. Thanks!

14 Replies

Having taught RCA and CAPA for 10 years, I heartily recommend this book: Root Cause Analysis, Second Edition
The Core of Problem Solving and Corrective Action
Duke Okes
Hardcover, 252 pages, Published 2019
Dimensions: 6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-87389-982-6
Item Number: H1557

Perhaps I could recommend my article in the September issue of Quality Progress magazine:

I think it brings a new perspective to solving quality problems.

@Anastasis Alayon
I have often thought that the quality community tends to state problems too narrowly and personally I dislike the concept of Root Cause and CAPA. My reasoning follows. As a systems engineer i know that most systems problems are not singular in nature and there are most frequently chains that are causal links to variation. In more complex systems we are also more likely to discover an interaction effect or effects that are creating a causal state in which the system responds adversely. Instead of limiting our language to the singular “root cause,” an algebraic notion that implies one causal trigger, I prefer to think of discovery of the causal system through a broader analysis. Why do I dislike CAPA as a concept? To me the fact that an organization has to do CA and PA means that they did not have a comprehensive design of their product and process. Comprehensive design engineering must find the sources of risk that affect performance and then push the engineering investigation to discover the causal relationships that can trigger negative performance as well as what can be done that will inhibit such behavior and act as a countermeasure. This enables rapid resolution of issues that are discovered in volume production as the current situation is simplified to one of pattern recognition of effects, characterization of the trigger event that creates this condition and execution of the known countermeasures to return the system to a state of control. Such logic is susceptible to automation through data monitoring, machine learning to detect patterns, pattern recognition to automate the choice of action and software robotics to drive the countermeasures solution to implementation in a robotics control system - a Quality 4.0 solution approach which can be beneficially applied in a large volume production environment and, over time will become more affordable and applicable for the smaller manufacturer as the cost of sensor systems, AI/ML and RCS reduces in the future.

My advice: don't get people's thinking stuck in old terminology and mental models that do not allow them to envision future possible states for production control.

Best regards,


@Anastasis Alayon
First, take a look at GHTF/SG3/N18:2010 (in IMDRF archive) to see why CAPA is not a good term.

Then, along with Dr. Watson's thinking, approach the training with the question “Why didn't we foresee and prevent this problem?” Basically, finding “root causes” addresses a particular problem.

Why not look for real causes? That's what risk based thinking in ISO 90001 is all about. Every corrective action is a system failure, so look at the system, not root causes.

I did an article some years back on the topic- the inserted file in this response.

quality-problems-beyond-root-causes to real causes.pdf

@Douglas Wood Thank you for the recommendation!

@Ondrej Durej Thank you! I will read your article!

@Gregory Watson I love your approach, do you think we could have a conversation about it? Thank you in advance!

@David Manalan Thank you for the reference and for sharing your article! I will read it!

@Anastasis Alayon: I offer a low-cost, online training titled “Root Cause analysis and the 8D Corrective Action Process”. Over 8,500 quality professionals have taken it with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5.0 stars. Here's a link to the course:

I'd be glad to discuss options with your organization. Each associate receives a personalized Certificate of Completion following the 10 hour course. Feel free to reach out at: or through my website at:

@Anastasis Alayon
Dear Anastasis - Okay - email me to set up a conversation:

@Gregory Watson
Very Good Advice Greg, be Curious in the discovery processes

@Anastasis Alayon
I have found that one of the best ways to make your RCCA training effective (or any training for that matter) is to include real life examples that the target audience can relate to and understand. Do you have root cause identification and corrective action activities from your company/industry that didn't go well and some that went really well? Figure out a way to incorporate those into the training material. Of course, “change the names to protect the innocent” if necessary, but the “students” need to have a connection to the training material. Us quality professionals (myself included) can get up in front of a class and talk for days on 8D, 5 Whys, TRIZ, Root Cause, Corrective Action, Preventive Action, Risk Management and the list goes on and on. Those are all good things, but eventually, the “students” eyes glaze over. They need to feel invested and drawn into the course topic. Answer the questions of “What's in it for me?” and “Why should I care?" Good luck!

@Anastasis Alayon
Anastasis, I am sure that your organization has a few problems that need to be improved, everyone does. My suggestion is to form teams from different disciplines. If you are doing the training virtually use breakout rooms and have the each team perform a root cause analysis on the same problem and present their root cause(s) to the group. This will provide you a training opportunity to show the teams where they chose a symptom or they perform the analysis correctly.

I couldn't agree more with James Strickland. My local ASQ chapter would frequently take field trips to see QI efforts in action. The lessons I took away stick with me to this day. Real life examples always improve learning.