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Vol. 8
May Issue
Year 2007
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Nadcap Column


in Vol. 8 - May Issue - Year 2007
Root Cause Corrective Action: The Key to Nadcap Sucess



Joanna Leigh - Operations Specialist (Europe)


Jennifer Gallagher - Associate Program Developer (Americas)

Effective Root Cause Corrective Action is one of the key components of successfully achieving Nadcap accreditation. Currently, the average number of responses for new Nonconventional Machining & Surface Enhancement Nadcap audits is two. This means that an audit could take as long as 56 days or more to be closed and for suppliers to receive accreditation. On average, these audits receive one major and two minor NCRs.

A good understanding of Root Cause Corrective Action and the Nadcap requirements will facilitate quicker, easier accreditation.

The Nadcap system requires five key areas to be answered when responding to NCR’s:

Immediate Corrective Action:
In this area, a description of what was accomplished to stop producing nonconforming product is required. This includes what was done to assess any damage, contain all effects, and if appropriate, whether any affected customers were notified. If no product was affected, explain how this assessment was reached. The requirement for immediate corrective action is to address the direct cause of the NCR only. 

Root Cause:
Root Cause is essentially the last cause in any cause chain. To obtain the Root Cause data must be collected and cause chains developed. A true Root Cause will require a 5 Why analysis. For Nadcap NCR responses, only the Root Cause should be listed in this area, but supplemental information may be included to support the conclusion. 

Impact of all Identified Causes and the Root Cause:
Detail the impact of all the identified causes and the root cause. Was there product impact? How did you determine that there was/was not product impact? 

Action Taken to Prevent Recurrence:
This cannot be determined until the direct, contributing, and root causes have been identified. Explain what has been implemented to correct the NCR from occurring in the long-term. It is important to spend time considering the effectiveness of the actions. Recurrence prevention is important in Nadcap because a repeat finding will prohibit supplier merit. Supplier merit is a system which allows audits to take place on an extended frequency and/or reduced scope basis, which promotes quality improvements and cost savings.

Objective Evidence:
Objective evidence is required for all NCRs for an initial audit and for major NCRs for a reaccreditation audit. But any procedural changes will still need to be evidenced. If training has been conducted, verification of the event is needed. It is recommended that suppliers attach objective evidence to every NCR if it will assist the Staff Engineer and the Task Group in understanding and accepting the response. 

Common Examples of Unacceptable Responses

-Operator Error identified as the Root Cause

This is seldom ever an acceptable reply. If this is the conclusion, ask yourself; “If I replace this operator, could the next person make this mistake?”

-Lack of Objective Evidence

Ensure that supporting documentation is attached for procedural changes, customer notification and acceptance, and training

-Restatement of the finding as the Root Cause

Remember to use the 5 Why technique to ensure you are truly identifying the Root Cause and not just rewording the NCR.


To learn more about Root Cause Corrective Action, you are invited to register for one of these upcoming training sessions:

Hartford, CT, US  16 May 2007
Wichita, KS US    23 May 2007
London, UK    27 June 2007
Istanbul, Turkey  18 July 2007
Seattle, WA US  15 Aug 2007
Hamburg, Germany  12 Sept 2007

To download a registration form, go to the following link on the PRI website: http://www.pri-network.org/PRI/Supplier-Training-Programs.id.384.htm or contact Jennifer Gallagher, Program Developer, +1 724 772 8693 or jgall@sae.org.




Author: Joanna Leigh - Operations Specialist (Europe) & Jennifer Gallagher - Associate Program Developer (Americas)