Why I hate CARs and why you Should Avoid them in construction

CAR is a well known abbreviation to everyone who works in a Quality- related role across all industries (and not only in construction).

CAR stands for “Corrective Action Report”.

Corrective Actions are probably representing the essence of Quality Management and Lean techniques: you should provide a solution that will fight the root cause of the problem and it will not only just provide a correction (fix the problem).

ISO:9001 standard clearly demands that a Corrective Action is always applied to Nonconformities.

But how are Corrective Action Reports being treated in construction industry today?

It’s not a secret that raising an NCR is almost like a taboo nowadays and it could even initiate endless arguments and discussions.


Simply because people don’t like them!

So, what happens instead? We all agree to rename some NCRs as CARs. And then everyone is happy…As simple as that!

Raising CARs instead of NCRs it’s a common practice in construction and even a common practice for professional third party auditors.

Is that really helping the organization or it’s just something we do as quality professionals in order to avoid the confrontation with the management and the auditees.

Then immediately, apart from following up the NCRs, we also have to follow up the CARs. Don’t get me wrong: the corrective actions need to be recorded and obviously taken.

But what’s the point of raising CARs instead of NCRs?

Blame culture and NCR-phobia is an unnessecary disease within construction industry and unfortunately it will take a lot of effort to be abolished as a culture (if ever)…

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Pavlos Inglesis
I am a Chartered Civil Engineer (CEng-MICE) and a Chartered Quality Professional (MCQI CQP) working in the construction industry for about 20 years. My specialty is Quality Control and Quality Assurance Management in Construction Projects. I have worked on projects in the Middle East, and Greece and am now based in the UK.

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