Action Audit

What to Do in Case of Non-Conformity Detection?

Antonina Olszewska

Antonina Olszewska


What to Do in Case of Non-Conformity Detection?

Explore key corrective, and preventive action strategies to improve production quality and ensure continuous improvement of production processes.

Corrective, Remedial, and Preventive Actions

Quality control in production should be a priority for any company in this industry. Utilizing various lean management tools (e.g., Gemba, Kaizen, Kanban, VSM) and conducting regular audits (e.g., 5S, LPA, safety) is necessary to maintain quality at the highest level and strive for continuous improvement. However, what should be done in the case of non-conformity detection, for example, during an audit?

Corrective and Remedial Actions

The first reaction to the detection of non-conformity is usually corrective action. The aim of such action is to eliminate the effects of the detected non-conformity. In this case, we do not analyze the causes; we focus solely on repairing/eliminating the error or problem.

A more comprehensive response to detected non-conformity is remedial action. In this case, attention is focused on identifying and analyzing how the non-conformity occurred. The main goal of such action is to eliminate the cause. Thus, remedial action significantly reduces the risk of the recurrence of the non-conformity.

Both actions are not mutually exclusive and can be implemented simultaneously. This allows for quick reaction and repair (correction) of non-conformities and prevents their recurrence through remedial actions.

Preventive Actions

The actions described above are taken after the detection of non-conformity. But is there anything that can be done earlier?

A manufacturing company can take preventive actions, which aim to prevent potential causes of non-conformities. Such actions require greater involvement and continuous analysis of the production process. By identifying potential problems that may occur during production, it is possible to assess the cause of their occurrence and implement preventive actions to avoid non-conformities.

Summary and Example

In summary, we have three types of actions:

  • focused solely on eliminating the detected non-conformity → corrective actions
  • focused on eliminating the causes of non-conformity → remedial actions
  • focused on eliminating the potential causes of non-conformity, prevention → preventive actions


  • detected non-conformity: cracked power cable for the machine at workstation No. 4

  • corrective action: replacing the cable with a new one

  • remedial action: training for operators on machine maintenance and cleaning

  • preventive action: more frequent inspection and maintenance of machines in production

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