How to check the Effectiveness of Corrective Action

Agreeing corrective action


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

Let's also consider Corrections vs. Corrective Actions vs. Preventive Actions

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 organization 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.

How to verify the effectiveness of corrective actions and record them in documentation?

The best way we know 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.

(We didn't create this form but have lost the identity of the copyright owner -- sorry. If you happened to be the owner of the form or know whom it belongs to, do let us know).


Train your Internal Auditors online - easy & inexpensive


Checklist for Verifying the Effectiveness of Corrective Action

Implementation of the Corrective Action Plan


1.       Were operating personnel made aware of the change and the purpose of the change?


2.       Did the organization consider 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.       Were all relevant documents, system requirements, and record-keeping requirements modified to reflect the change to the process/system?

  • Instructions?
  • Bills of materials?
  • Formulations?
  • Testing and inspection?
  • Specification, design?
  • Packaging and markings?
  • Newly purchased materials?
  • Product storage?
  • Service procedures?


4.       Is the person or function responsible for authorization of process changes clearly designated?


5.       If the product or service provided to the customer is affected, was the customer notified of the change?


6.       Is the change being followed consistently?


Outcome: How effective was the Corrective Action Plan?


7.       Were output measures identified to monitor and verify that the process is achieving the desired result?


8.       Have desired expectations (outputs) been defined? Are outputs consistent with expectations?


9.      Were process measures identified to monitor and verify that the process/system is capable?


10.    Have desired expectations (processes) been defined? Are process measures consistent with expectations?


11.    Are there records of the results?


12.    Is an emergency change procedure in place to prevent nonconforming products or services if the change is not working?



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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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