Centre for Learning

Control Plans and Error Proofing

Process Control Plans were originally developed for the automotive industry. Control plans are now being used in fields as diverse as medical care.

Error proofing techniques are an essential part of process control: understanding what causes errors, what types of errors occur and what to do about them.

This course will show how to implement cost effective control schemes, prevent errors and protect customers from the variability inherent in your processes.


  • Identify the major process risks to customer satisfaction
  • Use the six types of error to isolate mistakes
  • Decide sample size & frequency for process contro
  • Look for the five basic causes of errors
  • Visual, Control Plan Format for easy application
  • Checklist of common errors, their causes & possible corrective action.


  • Lower Parts per million error rate
  • Reduced inspection cost
  • More credible control procedures

Who should attend?

People who need to better control & fewer errors.


  • On completion of the course, participants should be able to:
  • Uncover the major sources of variation in a process
  • Discover the causes of recurrent errors
  • Devise cost effective process control schemes
  • Identify potential errors and mistakes
  • Reduce inspection costs
  • Determine the best way to prevent errors from re-occurring.



Step One: Define Measures that matter

  • Focus on customers: users and later processes
  • Select characteristics to control
  • Decide how to measure them

Step Two: Plan Measurability and Mistake proofing

  • Plan for control at product design, and
  • Process design.

Step Three: Understand Process Behaviour

  • Find the dominant sources of variation
  • Anticipate capability and stability

Step Four: Design the Controls

  • Choose the best control method e.g. error proofing, SPC, regular checks
  • Decide how many to measure, and when.
  • React to problems: isolate product and correct the process.
  • Review for zero defects and audit effectiveness

Step Five: Communicate the control plan

  • Shop floor documents like set up sheets, SOPs, and SPC charts
  • Target value to encourage improvement
  • Recording methods which encourage truth.


Six major error types

  1. Pick the wrong thing
  2. Use the wrong method
  3. Do things at the wrong time
  4. Do them in the wrong order
  5. Miss a step, and
  6. Forget – or ignore – something important.

Five causes of errors

  1. Lack of care: “I knew it was wrong, but no one cares.”
  2. Breaks in concentration: “I lost concentration, and made a mistake.”
  3. People out of place: “I can’t keep up with the others”
  4. Mistaken messages: “I thought I was doing it correctly.”
  5. A job that’s difficult to get right: “We all make mistakes on that job.”

Error reduction method

  • How to eliminate or neutralise errors by identifying the type and removing the cause


Controlling your own processes, and reducing your own errors.

Alan Long worked in the team led by Tom Pettigrew which developed Process Control Plans at Ford Australia. He played a major part in introducing them to the Australian automotive components industry through the AQAP process, and has trained and advised a number of businesses in effective use of Control Plans and Error Proofing.

$495 excluding GST. Fee includes Training Manual, lunch & refreshments. Please refer to our standard terms and conditions for further registration details.

What to Bring
Participants are encouraged to bring copies of their current, or planned, flow charts, control plans, details of error situations and new processes with error potential.

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