August 22, 2013 | Mark Paradies

Root Cause Analysis Tip: Accident/Incident Investigation Training – What Do We Need?

Accident Investigation Training – Incident Investigation Training – Root Cause Analysis Training … They are all related and people often ask my opinion … “What accident investigation (incident or root cause) training should we be doing at our facility?”


When we wrote the TapRooT® Book (published in 2008), we knew people would have that question. That why we included a whole section in Chapter 6 (the implementation chapter) on recommended training and a training matrix:


Each of the titles in the left column are described as well as the reasoning for that level of training.

Some interesting titles to review here are Management, the Improvement Team Leader, and Facilitators.


The first training recommendation to review is management. Some might ask, “Why does management need training.”
My answer? because they are the customer – the user – of what comes from the root cause analysis process. Advanced root cause analysis (TapRooT®) should be an essential part of their management system – a management tool that they rely upon. And because this is an essential management tool, they need to understand their role in applying root cause analysis, how root cause analysis fits into their improvement strategy, and what people in the field need to succeed in their root cause analysis efforts.

The training matrix says that managers should take the 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation & Root Cause Analysis Course. But the book explains this in more detail.

First, I would prefer that senior managers take the 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training as part of their management development career training. A major oil company had all their senior project managers (those managing multi-million dollar projects) attend the 5-Day Training and every manager I trained was impressed with the usable information they learned that they could apply a senior managers. These were things that they previously had not learned in their management careers.

However, getting senior managers to sit down for five days of training is next to impossible (even if the training is needed). In this case it took the President of the big oil company requiring his project managers to have the training or they could not receive their annual bonuses. (He really knew how to get their attention.)

Why would a big oil company President require the training? because he was tired of hearing excuses for fatalities. He knew these senior managers had to understand what was causing fatal accidents or they would never be successful in preventing them. And he knew that TapRooT® was the explanation for the causes of the fatal accidents. Thus TapRooT® Training became the requirement.

For those who don’t have the company president’s support for management training, I would suggest a custom course focussed on the basics of TapRooT® and what management needs to to to make sure their improvement program effectively applies root cause analysis. That’s the minimum needed for management root cause analysis training.



Improvement Team Leaders and Facilitators have the same basic training requirements – the 5-Day TapRooT® Advance Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Course. Those who will also be investigating equipment issues should take the additional day of Equifactor® Training (that can be customized into an on-site 5-Day Course).

To continually improve their skills and keep up with the latest in performance improvement technology, we also recommend attending the Global TapRooT® Summit and a pre-Summit advanced course every year.

Two additional courses that Improvement Team Leaders should take are the Advanced Trending Techniques and the Getting the Most from Your TapRooT® Software courses. Trending and using the TapRooT® software are integral parts of any improvement team leader’s job so these courses are a must for them.

Have any questions about these training recommendations? We would be happy to discuss our recommendations with you. just give us a call at 865-539-2139. Or drop us a note by CLICKING HERE.

Root Cause Analysis
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