What is a CAPA or CPA & Which is Preferred
Corrective Actions Preventive Actions is what defines CAPA and Corrective Preventive Action stands for CPA. Then there is RCA or recommended corrective action. Which is preferred in the aviation industry? We have heard them all and used CAPA at the beginning of SMS Pro's history. Then we moved over to RCA (recommend corrective action) with the logic meaning that anyone could suggest a corrective preventive action to mitigate the cause or reduce the harmful effects of an undesirable situation.
Currently, we use CPA to reduce confusion around the world. After all, SMS Pro™ has a world-wide audience and CAPA didn't seem to go over very well in the Middle East.
Example of Risk Management Scenario
Regardless of what you call them, CAPA, CPA or RCA, just know that corrective preventive actions originate in the example of a risk management scenario:
An accident or incident is reported
Safety(security, etc) managers are notified
Preliminary investigation and risk assessment is performed
Targeted closure date set to communicate to all personnel urgency to close the issue
Safety managers review offered/recommended corrective actions preventive actions
Safety managers may recommend their own corrective preventive actions
Safety manager assigns issue to ONE responsible manager
Responsible manager reviews recommended corrective preventive actions
Responsible manager either accepts recommended corrective preventive actions, or comes up with his own
Responsible manager assigns corrective preventive actions to personnel within his control with a deadline
Personnel assigned to the corrective preventive action completes task and notifies responsible manager
Responsible manager either accepts or rejects performance of the corrective action preventive action
If accepted, and this is the last corrective preventive action to be finished, safety manager is notified
If rejected, assigned personnel is notified that performance has been rejected
Corrective Action Manager™ allows managers to monitor corrective preventive actions' progress and identify road blocks that prevent issues from meeting their targeted closure date deadlines.
Corrective Action Manager allows managers to easily review and manage corrective actions in one simple view. Typically, assigned Department Heads are notified via email of their assigned issues and they manage corrective actions related to the issue. Because these managers are frequently tied up with other duties, they may not have sufficient time to come to SMS Pro and manage their corrective actions properly.
SMS Admins and Safety Officers need a tool to monitor the progress of these corrective actions and take steps to remedy stalled actions. Furthermore, when corrective preventive actions are no longer relevant, or managers have left the company, there must be a mechanism in the aviation safety system for SMS Admins or Safety Managers to override the closure of these neglected corrective preventive actions.
About Corrective Preventive Actions from a Dept Head's View
Department Heads can accept others recommended corrective actions or create their own. Dept Heads commonly assign corrective actions to members within their division, over which they have control. Dept Heads cannot assign tasks to members from other divisions, over which they should not possess supervisory control.
When users complete corrective actions, an email is sent to the Department Head, who verifies the corrective action has been completed satisfactorily. Department Heads accept or reject performance.
When all corrective actions have been completed, Safety Managers are notified via email and dispose of the issue as policy dictates.
How to Use Corrective Preventive Actions Manager
Typically, the SMS Admins and Safety Officers monitor the Corrective Preventive Actions Manager to identify stalled items. By default, overdue items appear at the top of the list in the Corrective Actions Manager. The Issue Manager is a great place to monitor and determine whether a visit to the Corrective Actions Preventive Actions Manager is necessary.
Many filters exist to investigate corrective preventive actions, such as Divisions and Status dropdown lists. Furthermore, there are text box filters available under most column headings. To use the text box filters, simply place your cursor in the text box directly beneath the column heading, enter a search string, and then click the "Filter" icon at the immediate right of the text box. Choose a filter type, such as "Contains," or "Starts With."
When discovering items that have been completed, but not properly documented or closed by the assigned Dept Head, an SMS Admin may use the Corrective Actions Manager to "Complete" corrective actions on behalf of the assigned manager. Comments will be posted to the issue, documenting this action. This action is performed by selecting the checkbox in the "Done" column and selecting the "Update Checked Corrective Actions" button.
To view more details about the reported issue, to which the corrective action belongs, managers have two choices:
- Follow the link in the far left column, which takes them directly to the Issue Manager
- Hover over the "Information" icon in the far right column. A popup appears with details of the reported issue and the corrective action
More Information on Corrective Preventive Actions
Wikipedia Article on Corrective & Preventive Actions
Short PDF by IBM on Managing Corrective Preventive Actions
Corrective vs Preventive Actions