50+ Sample Corrective Action Plan

What Is a Corrective Action Plan?

A corrective action plan or CAP is a business document that seeks to complete targeted outcomes through a resolution of undesirable actions. It represents a step-by-step process that addresses specific issues, errors, and shortcomings of operations in the business. The record describes what designated individuals must do to rectify unforeseen situations. The implementation of a corrective action plan happens to facilitate workflow, identify the most cost-effective channels to resolve errors, improve procedures and techniques, increase efficacy and effectiveness of processes, and control and eliminate deficient and defective practices. An organization executes the corrective action plan when identified problems arise with the potential to have severe consequences and negative implications to the quality management system. The corrective action plan follows the SMART goal-setting process, making it systematic, manageable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. The appropriate execution of the strategy aids to improve business performance, operations, and responses and address work-related problems. Corrective actions plans can be as simple as greeting customers that visit a store to more complex solutions like restructuring and revising accounting procedures.

According to IBIS World, 638,583 manufacturing businesses in the United States are active as of 2022. The number of organizations in the manufacturing industry has had an average increase rate of 1.7 percent over the past five years, starting from 2017 to 2022. As there are over a hundred thousand manufacturing companies in the United States, there are at least an equal number of corrective action plans in the entire country.

Components of a Corrective Action Plan

In writing a corrective action plan, it is critical to remember that the purpose of the document is to mitigate an unpleasant event to resume regular operations of the company. As such, several elements must be present in the action plan for it to function effectively. Below are the components of a corrective action plan that an organization uses.

Defined problem: The first element in a corrective action plan is to identify the issue, creating a problem statement. Understanding the issue the organization presently faces helps the response team to find the necessary and appropriate solutions. It also helps the team to understand the next steps and processes they take. The defined problem also enables the organization to specify which team needs to function, whether it is quality management or others. It is helpful to indicate appropriate sources of information for the defined problem, including customer complaints, audit results, safety incidents, or nonconforming materials.Due dates: Corrective action plans also comprise due dates or deadlines for the company to complete the necessary corrective methods to arrive at a viable resolution. Organizations can create tasks lists that individuals can complete each day, prioritizing urgent tasks to accomplish organizational goals. The section also includes possible consequences when the company does not meet its goals at a specific due date.Risk assessment: The corrective action plan also requires risk assessment processes. Risk assessment allows a company to estimate the risk levels linked to particular actions. At the creation of a corrective action plan, organizations use various risk assessment processes and matrices to determine the number of risks to prioritize removing high-level risks first. Reviewing these risks is also essential when concluding the corrective action methods. It allows the organization to figure out where or not the applied actions mitigate or resolve the problem and whether or not the response teams need to redo the entire process.Root cause: For the organization to pinpoint the origin of the problem, conduct a root cause analysis to find what contributes to the issue. There are different techniques and procedures that the company can use for a root cause analysis. One of the most common methods is the Five Whys Analysis that determines possible causes of the problem. An organization can utilize this technique when addressing a customer complaint about a defective item by figuring out why the customer received a flawed product.Action items: A corrective action plan also contains several action items the company can use to alleviate or resolve defined problems. The action items section comprises processes and explanations of measures, such as outlining the action plan to solve the issue. Other factors to consider when composing this section of the document are potential costs and task assignments. Stakeholders: In the planning process of the corrective action document, the organization must identify and define the plan stakeholders. The stakeholders are often the customers or employees directly involved and affected by the problem. Organizations reach out to the stakeholders as soon as issues arise to inform them of possible mitigation actions and solutions the company intends to implement.Completion metrics: Another part of the corrective action plan consists of metrics for completion or a baseline evaluation that the company must reach to consider to resolve an issue or problem. For a customer that receives a broken or damaged product, the company resolves it by replacing the item, which results in a satisfied customer. The scenario is an example of a metric for completion.Progress updates: Lastly, after the completion of the corrective action plan, the company must evaluate the effectiveness of the response. During the evaluation review, the organization can find better solutions to address several problems than the initial response by the responsible team. In this section of the plan, the management can make the necessary adjustments and improvements through organizing and restarting the entire procedure.

How To Implement the Corrective Action Plan

When writing a corrective action plan for the organization, consider creating the document under the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) standards. In this way, implementing the solution to problems follow the standard operating procedures. For quality managers, the guidelines serve as an effective way to implement the corrective action plan. Below are the steps you can take as an organization to use the corrective action plan.

  • 1. Determine if the Situation Call for Immediate Action

    Not all problems and issues will need corrective action. The purpose of implementing the corrective action plan is to identify and resolve systematic issues or something that equates to putting the company in a difficult position and endangers the quality management system of the organization. It is the responsibility of the quality managers and their team members to conduct a risk analysis to determine the severity of the problem and determine the need for corrective action. An organization can look at different approaches, including Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) or Hazard and Operability (HAROP). It is a sensible way to conduct risk management measures that qualify risk levels and impacts a problem brings to the organization, its products, and services. After these processes and an issue needs corrective action, the quality management team utilizes procedures under ISO standards and document its progress.

  • 2. Conduct a Root Cause Analysis as Necessary

    A root cause analysis is a methodological procedure that seeks to analyze a problem and identify possible root causes to resolve problems and issues that can cause unfavorable situations for the company. Conducting the analysis is critical to eliminate the root cause or causes, contradictory to just addressing a manifestation. The procedure best applies to repetitive, systematic, and requires time for resolution. It is essential to form cross-functional teams when planning corrective actions. Some of the techniques that organizations can use include the Five Whys and Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving to craft a reasonable problem statement, identify root causes, and brainstorm appropriate solutions for non-conformance.

  • 3. Work on the Corrective Action Plan as a Team

    After identifying the root cause of the problem and its possible effects on the organization, formulate the most appropriate corrective action. In every corrective action plan, there are two main actions. First is the recommended action to eliminate the problem, and second is the corrective action itself. Aside from including the recommended and corrective action, the action plan must contain specific information, indicate schedules and timeline implementation, key people and signatories, and corresponding costs. After the creation of the plan, the organization can communicate it to all involved parties for standardization.

  • 4. Communicate and Implement the Plan

    Improve and encourage management and leadership involvement when it comes to communication practices. Notify essential individuals along with their roles and responsibilities. Provide the necessary communication channels and ensure their availability at all times. These channels can also provide regular feedback on the implementation of corrective actions. These factors determine the efficacy of the implementation of the corrective action plan.

  • 5. Conduct Follow-Up Meetings to Guarantee Effectiveness

    ISO standards require organizations to review the efficacy of corrective action plans and revise and update risk management and levels to potential options. After the system implementation, process owners and quality teams must wait for a reasonable amount of time and perform follow-up reviews. Managers can input comments to the plan during the assessments. Document the results by attaching helpful documents like helpful notes and media as evidence of the outcomes of corrective actions.


What is the importance of a corrective action plan?

Corrective action plans play a vital role in an organization for providing documentation of corrective actions. It allows companies to manage and revise systems to develop better solutions. Corrective action plans improve work processes and techniques, streamline workflows, increase efficiency and effectiveness of procedures, and find cost-effective methods to implement resolutions.

What does CAPAS do?

CAPAS stands for Corrective and Preventive Action Subsystem. Its purpose is to collect and analyze essential information, identify and investigate problems and issues, and take the appropriate corrective and preventive actions to prevent the reoccurrence of non-conforming events.

What is the primary goal of corrective action?

The primary goal of implementing any corrective action in an organization is to identify the root cause of issues and problems and utilize available resources to conduct appropriate measures to rectify the situation.

In every organization, setting up a corrective action plan becomes valuable in ensuring continuous daily operations of the business. Aside from identifying the root cause of problems that arise, it also provides a basis for future developments and needs of the company. instituting a corrective action plan allows the organization to react as soon as possible to prevent negative implications. Create the document for your company today, and download the samples available from the article.