The Role of CAPA (Corrective Action and Preventive Action) in Continuous Improvement

The Role of CAPA (Corrective Action and Preventive Action) in Continuous Improvement
May 6, 2011 seouser

The main aim of CAPA (Corrective Action and Preventive Action) is to collect and analyse information, identify and investigate product as well as quality problems, before taking the relevant action, whether it is corrective and/or preventive. This then allows non-conformances to be dealt with accordingly, ensuring better quality control management across the board.

The ultimate goal however, is continuous improvement, to ensure that no further actions will be required, thus improving the overall standards of processes. CAPAs therefore need to be identified and validated, before being communicated to the staff members responsible for performing the corrective and preventive activities. All activities are documented, presented at management reviews and checked for effective implementation.

By handling non-conformances quickly and efficiently, product and service problems can be prevented and rectified, ensuring a better overall product quality. Basic criteria of a good CAPA system should include the following:

  • Identification of non-conformance and analysis of root cause.
  • Visualisation, reporting and quality performance analytics.
  • Flexible workflow structure that permits routing CAPA to identified users based on their roles.
  • Roles-based information view.
  • Task notifications, deadline management, automatic reminders and escalations.
  • Integration with complaint, audit and training management systems.

Implementing a CAPA software program as part of your company non-conformance management system is something that should be seriously considered, regardless of the industry or size of the company. This will ensure that business risks can be minimised, and improved quality levels maintained.

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