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Root Cause Analysis Essentials


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This 1½-day version of our popular Root Cause Analysis course is designed for personnel performing investigations of simple incidents. The focus of the course is on identifying causal factors, root causes, and recommendations for human performance problems and equipment issues.


Who Should Attend this course?
  • Personnel performing investigations of simple incidents
Benefits of Attending:
  • 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 trees
  • Complete solutions to example problems
  • 1.0 CEU, 1.0 COC, 1.67 CMs, ABIH approval #10-231
Duration: 1½ days

Dates & Locations

View our current schedule of virtual or on-site courses at



Day 1: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Basics of Incidents and Investigations
    • 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
    • Overall incident investigation management system, and overview of the course
  • Analyzing Data
    • Overview of the four analysis techniques: cause and effect trees, timelines, causal factor diagrams, and change analysis
    • Cause and effect trees
    • Incident timelines
  • Identifying Root Causes
    • What is a root cause?
    • Procedure for identifying root causes
  • The Root Cause Map
    • Workshop: Identifying root causes
  • Developing Recommendations
    • Key recommendation concepts
    • Four levels of recommendations
    • Recommendation hierarchy
    • Special recommendation areas including restart/resumption criteria


Day 2: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Initiating Investigations
    • Securing the site
    • Overview of incident management tasks
    • Overview of investigation teams
  • Gathering Data
    • Types of data: The four P’s: people, physical, paper, and position
    • Fragility of data
    • Data from people
    • Physical data
    • Paper data
    • Position data
    • Workshop: Identifying data needs
  • Investigation Programs
    • Common incident investigation/RCA program problems
  • General Resources
    • SOURCE™ Toolkit – useful data collection forms
    • Pocket guide to investigation
    • Course study guide
  • Workshop: Simulated incident investigation


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

Ms. Julie Ott - General Manager, ABS Consulting

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