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Advanced Root Cause Analysis


Save 25% when you register three or more attendees. Team Discount cannot be combined with any other discounts or promotions.

This advanced 4½-day course allows attendees to participate in additional workshops related to causal factor charting, cause and effect trees, interviewing, physical data analysis plans, near-miss definitions and reporting, trending, and metrics. You will also learn to use the license-fee-free SOURCE™ root cause analysis methodology for investigating incidents. In addition to learning incident investigation skills, attendees learn how to meet the requirements of standards and regulations for investigations of incidents with health, reliability, environmental, and quality impacts. Attendees also receive an overview of how to structure an effective investigation program for their company, including how to define near misses, train others to recognize and report incidents, classify incidents for assigning the appropriate investigator(s), and trend data. You will take back to your company an example of a successful incident reporting and investigation program.

Note: For publicly scheduled courses (see scheduled dates below) the first three days of this course are run concurrently with the 3-day RCA course (Course 120) on Monday – Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday, participants in this Advanced RCA course meet separately to cover advanced RCA topics.


Who Should Attend this course?
  • Those who need to know the importance of near-miss investigations, incident classification, and data trending
  • Those who need to be equipped to investigate serious, complex incidents
  • Those who want additional workshops in areas such as causal factor charting, cause and effect trees, etc.
what will i learn in this course?
  • Identify root causes (not just causal factors) with proven techniques
  • Collect data through interviews and physical data analyses – numerous workshops are used to reinforce these topics
  • Apply powerful techniques for causal factor identification, including causal factor charting, cause and effect trees, change analysis, and timelines
  • Use ABS Consulting's Root Cause Map™ to aid in root cause identification
  • Avoid future incidents by developing appropriate recommendations to address causal factors and root causes
  • Structure reports for optimum effectiveness
  • Develop your data-trending process to identify systemic problem areas
  • Receive valuable materials: The SOURCE Investigator's Toolkit to help you gather and organize your data; a Root Cause Map for your company to use; a 300-page Root Cause Analysis Handbook that includes details on the use of the Root Cause Map; and a FREE Excel® template for documenting causal factor charts and cause and effect tree
  • 3.1 CEUs, 3.1 COCs, 5.01 CMs, ABIH approval #10-232
DURATION: 4.5 days

Dates & Locations

Start/End Dates Location Information Register


Day 1
  • Basics of Incidents and Investigations (Course 106/123 Tab 1)
    • Three principles for achieving operations excellence
    • Root cause/management system approach to root cause analysis (RCA)
    • Goals of incident investigation/RCA
    • Terminology: causal factor, root cause, management system, safeguard
    • Workshop: Identifying causal factors and root causes
    • Correlation, causation and sequence relationships
    • Overall incident investigation management system and overview of the course
    • Summary of structured techniques
  • Analyzing Data (Course 106/123, Tab 4)
    • Overview of the three analysis techniques – cause and effect trees, causal factor charts and change analysis
    • Cause and effect tree analysis
    • Workshop: Developing simplified cause and effect trees – instructor-led example
    • Workshop: Developing simplified cause and effect trees – student groups #1
    • Workshop: Developing simplified cause and effect trees – student groups #2
    • Incident timelines
      • Relationship to causal factor charts
    • Workshop: Developing timelines
Day 2
  • Analyzing Data (Course 106/123, Tab 4, cont.)
    • Causal factor charting
    • Workshop: Developing causal factor charts – instructor-led example
    • Workshop: Developing causal factor charts – student groups (complete instructor-led example)
    • Workshop: Developing causal factor charts – student groups
Day 3
  • Change analysis
  • Workshop: Change analysis
  • Supplementary data analysis techniques
  • Identifying Root Causes (Course 106/123, Tab 5)
    • What is a root cause?
    • Common root cause analysis traps
    • Procedure for identifying root causes
    • Techniques for root cause identification
    • The Root Cause Map
    • Workshop: Identifying root causes
  • Developing Recommendations (Course 106/123, Tab 6)
    • Key recommendation concepts
    • Four levels of recommendations
    • Recommendation hierarchy
    • Special recommendation areas including restart/resumption criteria
    • Workshop: Developing Recommendations
  • Completing the Investigation (Course 106/123, Tab 7)
    • Writing investigation reports
    • Resolving recommendations
    • Evaluating the investigation process
  • Initiating Investigations (Course 106/123, Tab 2)
    • Securing the site
    • Beginning the investigation
    • Incident classification
    • Incident management tasks
    • Investigation teams
    • Gathering resources
    • Workshop: Forming your team and identifying initial investigation issues
Day 4
  • Gathering Data (Course 106/123, Tab 3)
    • Types of data: The four P's: people, physical, paper and position
    • Fragility of data
    • Data from people
      • Interviewing techniques
    • Workshop: Identifying types of interview questions
    • Workshop: Developing interview questions
    • Workshop: Performing Interviews – small groups
    • Physical data
      • Planning for analysis of physical data
      • Use of physical data analysis plans
    • Workshop: Developing a Physical Data Analysis Plan
    • Paper data
      • Sources of potential data
    • Position data
      • Tools for collecting position data
    • Workshop: Identifying data needs
  • Selecting Problems for Analysis (Course 106/123, Tab 8)
    • Acute versus chronic investigations
    • Near-miss and accident investigations
    • Workshop: Near-miss quiz
    • Classifying incidents
  • Results Trending and Assessment (Course 106/123, Tab 9)
    • Deciding what data to collect
    • Data analysis
  • General Resources (Course 106, Tabs 11)
    • SOURCE™ Toolkit – useful data collection forms
    • Pocket guide to investigation
    • Course study guide
    • Workshop: Simulated incident investigation – start
Day 5
  • Workshop: Simulated incident investigation – finish
  • Additional time spent on using both data analysis techniques, performing group interviews and completing the investigation
  • Investigation Programs (Course 106/123, Tab 10)
    • 5-step program implementation
    • Key program considerations
    • Common incident investigation/RCA program problems
    • 10 laws of incident investigation


Ms. Julie Ott - General Manager, ABS Consulting

Mr. Lee Vanden Heuvel - Manager of Incident Investigation/Root Cause Analysis Services and Senior Risk/Reliability Engineer, ABS Consulting 

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Quickly identify the root causes of any type of incident, event, accident, near miss, reliability problem, quality impact, or business loss using LEADER™ software.

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