Root Cause Analysis (RCA) Online Training

SKU: C-973Duration: 23 Minutes

Pay-per-view (PPV) format perfect for individual users.

Get immediate access to this interactive eLearning course online. Must be used within 30 days, expires 48 hours after launch.

Language:  English

Great for in-person classroom training or as an alternative to DVD.

Includes printable documents and Convergence Video Player for Windows systems. Content expires after 1 year.

Language:  English

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Course Details


Training Time: 23 minutes

Compatibility: Desktop, Tablet, Phone

Based on: Industry Standards and Best Practices

Languages: English

How many times have you thought a problem was "fixed" only to have it happen again? This happens when only the symptoms, not the underlying, or root, causes, are addressed. Root cause analysis is a generic term used to describe various methods that can be used to find and eliminate root causes so problems do not recur. This module will describe the steps involved in a root cause analysis and some tools and methods that can be used.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Define root cause
  • Differentiate root cause, direct cause, and contributing cause
  • Describe the basic steps involved in root cause analysis
  • Identify and describe the characteristics of a good problem statement
  • Describe some commonly used root cause analysis tools and methods
  • Identify which methods work best for certain situations

Key Questions

The following key questions are answered in this module:

What is a root cause?
A root cause is the most basic reason for the occurrence of a problem, and if eliminated, the problem will not recur.

What is a direct cause?
A direct cause of a problem is the initiating event immediately preceding an incident that appears to have directly caused the incident.

What is a contributing cause?
A contributing cause is a condition or event that may have increased the likelihood that a problem occurred, but if eliminated, will not prevent the problem from recurring.

Which root cause analysis methodology is best?
There is no single method that will work for all situations. Some common methodologies include: 5 whys, effects and causal factors analysis, change analysis, barrier analysis, and task analysis. Some problems may require the use of multiple methods.

What is confirmation bias?
For the best results, root cause analyses should be performed by a team instead of individuals. The team should include 5-7 people, including a problem solving expert, workers involved in the incident, a manager with decision making authority, and someone not connected to the incident for an unbiased perspective.

Sample Video Transcript

Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:

A problem exists wherever there is a deviation from a normal, or desired state, and the cause is unknown. Root cause analysis can be used to resolve many different types of problems, including: • Major accidents and near misses • Equipment failures • Productivity issues • Quality problems • Environmental releases The impact of a problem can be measured in a variety of ways and each type of problem will have its own criteria for a formal root cause analysis. For example, equipment failures may have a lost time or cost threshold before being investigated, while all safety-related incidents, whether they result in a recordable injury or were just a near miss, may be investigated. Identifying and correcting the root cause of a near miss can prevent a serious incident from ever occurring.

Additional Resources

Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:

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