CAPA Management Software Is Unnecessary
Yes, you read that right—we are indeed saying that CAPA management software is unnecessary. This bold statement is a result of the way of thinking about CAPAs. While CAPAs must be managed, we are looking at them from a different perspective. So let us clarify a little bit further.
What Is CAPA Management?
We’ll begin with the definition of CAPA. We all know that CAPA stands for Corrective Action Preventive Action. This means basically taking corrective action or preventive action on known issues or undesirable situations. Someone has to take action and responsibility for the CAPA. We rephrase these actions as tasks for the responsible person.
The Purpose of CAPA
Most CAPAs are triggered by an issue or non-conformance report that occurs once or multiple times. Corrective measures should be taken before an issue happens again. A company should be proactive by having a preventive action plan to prevent systemic issues from happening in the first place.
This means that there needs to be a system in place to ensure that the company is doing everything possible to avoid these issues ever happening. There are different kinds of systems that can be used. It could be a specific CAPA management software or this system could be part of a QHSE management system within the organization. You can see it as continuous improvement for the entire organization.
Corrective and Preventive Action (CAPA) Process
In order to have a successful CAPA process, you need to have a good understanding of what CAPA is. We have already mentioned that CAPA is done when something goes wrong or there is an undesirable situation. The purpose of CAPA is to find out why something went wrong and how to prevent similar issues from occurring again. In addition, CAPA is also done when things go right, in other words, preventing certain outcomes.
There are two main parts of the CAPA process: Corrective Action and Preventive Action. These two actions are usually done together. They both consist of several steps. Each step has its own set of tasks or activities. Some of them may overlap with each other. For example, if one task leads to another task then they are often combined into one single task.
Root Cause Investigation
This is the first step in the CAPA process. Identifying the root causes is a complex and unclear process. The root cause investigations are done by looking at what really happened. There are different methods for this investigation. The goal of this step is to find out why the event occurred. This is the investigative process.
Root Cause Identification
Once you have identified the root cause, you now need to analyze it. This is the second step in the CAPA cycle, where you try to figure out what caused the root cause. How did the root cause happen? What were some contributing factors? Were there any external influences? Was there anything else that contributed to the root cause?
Root Cause Analysis & Recommendations
The third step in the CAPA cycle is to make recommendations based on your findings. Based on your analysis, you will come up with solutions. These solutions will help you prevent similar issues from happening in the future, hence corrective actions.
Preventative Action Plan
After all the recommendations have been made, you need to implement them. This is the fourth step in the CAPA. Implementing the recommended changes will help you prevent similar situations or systemic issues from happening again.
When all CAPAs have been performed and implemented, it is important to have a 3 and 6 or even 12-month evaluation to see if the actions taken actually prevent the causes from happening again. Maybe the root cause doesn’t happen again but other issues might still occur. Also, unseen side effects can be triggered by the CAPAs implemented.
CAPA Management Software
All the steps and tasks mentioned above can be managed in a specialized CAPA management software system. The software can help you with different kinds of activities. Tasks, due dates, notifications, trend analysis, and corrective action plans could be part of one CAPA management software system. CAPA management software also eliminates written documentation and spreadsheet-based systems, which allows for automation and accuracy. CAPA management software looks ideal, but is it the best solution?
Why CAPA Management Software Is Unnecessary
We have one main reason to make a bold statement about unnecessary CAPA management software. First of all, we don’t think a stand-alone CAPA management software is a good fit. CAPA management should be part of QHSE management from the whole organization. Everyone within the organization should be responsible for the safety and quality management.
A QHSE management platform with CAPA management capabilities is a much better solution. With this kind of platform, you have features like equipment management, training, surveys, audit preparation, and many more. The platform gives you more opportunities for improvement, and total QHSE management and helps you with the regulatory requirements.