Time Is Of The Essence With CARs

Posted: January 22, 2015 in Corrective Action
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This is not a new subject as such on this blog but one that needs constant attention. So many companies I work with don’t get how important it is to allow sufficient time on corrective action when they come to fill in the form.

The correction and containment is the immediate and short term action that needs taking to resolve whatever problem has been flagged up. You then move onto using the 5 whys to determine the root cause as to why you had it.  It is absolutely critical to get this right and investigate what is the real cause so that the subsequent correction action doesn’t chase the wrong reason.

Then comes the corrective action to stop it happening again.  In addition to an action, which might be feasible in a matters of ‘days’, you need to allow time so that the people involved ( not the auditor ) can convince themselves the action has been effective.  Then you call back the auditor. Now this might take ‘weeks’ or even ‘months’, particularly if linked to a subsequent report or meeting.

For example, you appoint someone to cover some duties that have fallen over. Fine, that might be done very quickly – but how do you know the person is going to be effective?  You give them a month or two to demonstrate that backed with some report or presentation into management. A process falls over so you agree to add an extra control to prevent it happening again.  That is introduced immediately – say via a computer procedure – but you need time to demonstrate the problem has been effectively sorted.

The two actions on a CAR form are not both quick fixes so that you can get them off your back.  Whilst the standard requires you to deal with them in a timely matter, it is not the green light to shortcut the process. Corrective Action needs time.

Comments
  1. Yuan says:

    Most of company aware of corrective action and adressed the implement timing into the procedure. but how about the preventive action? How to take it? Our company do the issue review in the management improvement meeting and will assign project leader with members to solve the problem that are high risk, could it call as prevention?

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  2. peterts says:

    Yuan – I am assuming that your project team you talk about are working on the basis that they already have a problem from an NCR or audit. Preventive action is not used on a ‘problem’ more for a situation that you feel MAY be a problem in the future unless you do something about it.

    For example, you see that material passes test, but only just, so you tell yourself that one day there is a risk it might fail. You look at it now and discover something odd with the material composition or perhaps the test rig or the person testing who might be new/ untrained. You take action and the material now passes well above the minimum. The time element isn’t as strong as for corrective actions because you haven’t actually got a failure/ problem.

    From the QA system audit side of things you might notice that computer records are filed by staff but they all do it in a different way thus risking them not being found if someone else has to look for them. You haven’t a problem in that the records exist but it could be smarter, so raise a preventive action to create an agreed folder structure that is clear and tell everyone to adopt it.

    Thanks for raising this Yuan and hope that helps. Remember that preventive action gets replaced by risk management in the 9001:2015 version 🙂

    ps: If you haven’t already done so, click through and watch the two minute taster taster video in this blog.

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    • Yuan says:

      This was a question that one of my customer kept asking me during the audit last week, since our factory didn’t use any systematic software to monitor process, we used daily yield report instead, and, preventive actions may need money or costss involved, so I explained this would be decided by top management, but our customer still put it as a question mark.
      However, I understand much more now. And I know the changes on 2015, our company will held a lesson program this week. thank you Sir

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