WorkPlace Cornerstone

Root Cause EVALUATION Training

This course has been provided to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission over 40 times between 2006-2019.  And since 2017, we have provided this course to the Japan Nuclear Regulation Authority (JNRA), and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). 

Learn how to evaluate an organization’s root cause analysis reports.

In this comprehensive course, participants will learn proven techniques used by high reliability organizations (HRO) for evaluating the adequacy and potential effectiveness of root cause reports for events, conditions or trends that have high consequences or highly significant outcomes. You will acquire the critical evaluation skills necessary to enable that the direct and underlying organizational factors have been sufficiently and effectively investigated; and appropriate and effective corrective actions have been identified; all with the goal of significantly reducing the probability of recurrence of the same or similar event.

Course Objectives:

The participants will learn to determine the degree to which:

  1. The problem was evaluated using an appropriate systematic methodology to identify the root and contributing causes.
  2. The depth of the root cause evaluation was commensurate with the significance of the problem.
  3. The root cause evaluation considered prior occurrences and knowledge of experiences.
  4. The root cause evaluation addressed extent of condition and extent of cause.

Further, participants will learn to determine the degree to which:

  1. The organization’s safety culture caused or significantly contributed to the problem.
  2. The corrective action(s) specified for each root/ contributing cause is appropriate.
  3. The corrective actions have been appropriately prioritized with consideration of risk significance and regulatory compliance.
  4. The schedule established for implementing and completing the corrective actions appropriately reflects risk significance and regulatory compliance.
  5. The quantitative or qualitative measures of success have been developed for determining the effectiveness of the corrective actions to prevent recurrence.

What We Cover:  

  • Planning an Evaluation
  • Systematic Methods/ Approaches
  • Causation Assessment
  • Depth of Analysis
  • Extent of Condition
  • Extent of Cause
  • Root Cause Analysis Issues
  • Consequences and Significance
  • Risk Increase Profiles
  • Problem Finding
  • Levels of Defense
  • Missed Opportunity Matrix
  • Precursors
  • Factor Trees/ Chains of Factors
  • Extraneous Conditions Adverse to Quality
  • Comparative Time Line
  • Cause Relationship
  • Barrier Analysis
  • Questions for Insight
  • Safety Culture - Lines of Inquiry
  • Mitigating Factors/ Exacerbating Factors
  • Prior Occurrences and Trendable Factors
  • Corrective Action Characteristics
  • Corrective Action Hierarchy
  • Measures of Effectiveness
  • Measures of Completeness
  • Risk Significance
  • Measures of Success
  • Programmatic Problems
  • Causal Factors
  • Root Cause Testing for Depth
  • What’s Missing?

Causal Analysis Work Products Used in the Course

The course engages two or three client root cause reports for the participants to assess and evaluate. Example root case reports are pre-determined through discussion between the client and the instructor.

Who Should Attend:

Regulatory Agencies, Corrective Action Review Boards (CARB), Management Review Groups (MRG), Oversight Review Groups, Offsite Review Groups, Public Utility Boards, Risk Managers, Due Diligence Assessors, Executives, and Line Managers who have responsibility for operational safety and quality in a high hazard/ ‘high reliability required’ industry. This course can as well provide insight and benefit for those individuals implementing, managing, and/ or overseeing problem identification and corrective action programs.

Class Size:             Typically 12-16 participants

Contact Hours:       24 hours (three (3) eight-hour days; can be expanded up to 40 hours as determined by client)

Location:               At the customer site/ Customer-designated location/ Glastonbury, CT


Conveyance:         Instructor-led Seminar, Individual and Group/ Team Exercises (over 20), engaging Terminal and Enabling Objectives, and a final, non-graded Assessment

Pre-requisites:      Previous root cause training and experience helpful, however not necessary.

Instructors:           Each instructor has over 30 years direct experience in high-hazard industry, advanced and related degrees, and has earned rigorous professional certifications through examination. As well, each instructor is regularly engaged in leading or advising root cause teams investigating significant events in the nuclear power, petro-chemical, energy, fabrication, decommissioning, and other high hazard sectors.

To Request a Course:

Call Michael D. Quinn at 860.463.0413 or 860.295.0603

Email Michael Quinn at