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12 January 2015

Stay ahead of the game: a risk-based approach to CA/PA

By Claire McCluskie

With the impending changes to ISO 9001 towards a more risk-based approach, now is the time to look at your current Corrective and Preventive Action (CA/PA) processes and system to see how they stack up against the changes and, even more critically, use it as the perfect opportunity to assess the value they bring to your business.

Principally, the business value that an effective Corrective and Preventive Action (CA/PA) system brings is that it makes it easier for you to make the right decisions, as it lets you focus on the important issues to then deal with them as competently as possible. One step further is a CA/PA system that supports continual improvement, with robust CA/PA processes which keep a business focused on what’s important and one step ahead of any significant problems, adverse incidents or issues.

Through carrying out risk assessments and root cause investigations, problems or issues can be identified, prioritised and fixed before they negatively impact your business.

“Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy”

Inevitably, adverse events and issues will happen and will need to be dealt with; using an effective CA/PA management system allows organisations to mitigate business risk as well as limit the negative impact of these adverse events and issues. To cut down bottlenecks in the system, a good CA/PA system will enable ‘on the spot’ resolution that allows you to review the event in question and then decide whether it demands further investigation or instant correction.

However, not all incidents or issues will require investigation. For example, a near miss requires less investigation and follow up than lost time accidents.

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