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Difference between Corrective Action and Preventive Action

Difference between Corrective Action and Preventive Action

Confusion and mix-ups between corrective action and preventive action are common when discussing quality management systems. But what’s the difference? Put simply, corrective action is a reaction to an identified problem whereas preventive action attempts to identify potential issues before they happen. In this blog post, we’ll delve deeper into the definitions of both corrective and preventative actions as well as provide examples and best practices for implementing either one in your own business setting. With careful consideration of each type of response coupled with proper implementation techniques, you can ensure that all areas of your operation remain compliant and issue-free. Read on to learn more about how this process works!

What is Corrective Action?

Corrective action refers to any process or methodology used to address a specific issue or problem. It is an effective way of finding and fixing the root cause of a problem in order to prevent it from happening again. Corrective action can be both proactive and reactive, meaning it can anticipate and predict problems before they happen, as well as help to solve them after they have arisen. Corrective actions are typically broken down into steps that involve analyzing the situation, creating solutions, and implementing structural changes in order to fix current issues or prevent them from occurring in the future.

What is Preventive Action?

A preventive Action is a proactive approach to preventing preventable issues from arising. Preventive action seeks to identify and assess potential risk factors in an organization’s system or process and develop strategies for resolving them before they become problematic.

  • Preventive action isn’t limited to just identifying risk; it also looks at ways to improve processes, reduce errors, eliminate waste and ensure the effectiveness of an operational system.
  • Preventive action helps organizations save resources over time, increase the accuracy of management decisions, create cost savings and increase customer satisfaction.
  • Preventative Action is an important investment for any organization that wants to keep ahead of the competition by avoiding unpleasant surprises and staying proactive rather than reactive in all facets of their operations.

Difference between Corrective Action and Preventive Action

  • Preventive Action and Corrective Action are two important approaches to quality management. While both aim to improve organizational performance, these two strategies differ in the type of improvement being implemented.
  • Generally speaking, preventive action seeks to address systemic problems that could lead to customer dissatisfaction or non-compliance whereas corrective action focuses on addressing customer complaints or non-conformities that have already occurred.
  • In some cases, organizations may use both strategies together as part of a comprehensive approach to quality management. An effective system will combine proactive measures such as preventive actions with responsive measures such as corrective actions in order to maintain a high level of performance and customer satisfaction.


Both corrective and preventative actions are important for businesses to use to identify issues and correct them. Corrective action is taken after an issue has occurred, while preventive action is taken before an issue occurs. Although both are necessary, some industries may require one more than the other. It really depends on the business type and what their main goals and objectives are. Understanding the difference between the two can help businesses decide which one they need to focus on more in order to improve their overall quality.

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