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Corrective Action Plan Program Information

The program consists of a CAP form and instructions that allow you to systematically respond to each major finding (rating of "0" or "1") and submit them to the SSPC Certification Manager for acceptance. If you have significant or major findings, the SSPC Certification Manager will notify you and request Corrective Action Reports for each major finding. When that happens, the first step is to review the SSPC form and instructions and use them to:

  1. Describe how you corrected the immediate problem. This may also be referred to as the "fix" or "corrective measure" taken. For example, if the auditor finds inspection instruments out of calibration, the immediate fix or corrective measure is to either send the instruments to a qualified lab to have them recalibrated or discard any instrument that is broke and not worth fixing. In short, get the damaged or improperly operating instrument out of service.

  2. The second step in the process is to do and document a "root cause analysis." Simply put, this means that you and your management needs to discuss what broke down in the system that you had previously set up that caused the finding in the first place. Once the "root cause" is determined, the next step is to install a permanent change in your quality system to prevent the problem from recurring. Using the instrument example above, you might have discovered during the root cause analysis that the smooth operation of this component of your system depended upon one key person. And when that person was unavailable for an extended period of time due to an illness, there was no qualified person trained to perform back-up duties.

  3. The third step or corrective action would logically be to train a qualified back up or two to avoid recurrence of this problem. This might require training an existing staff member or outsourcing the work.

  4. The last step in the overall "corrective action plan" would be for management to follow up to ensure that an effective back up plan was in place and working effectively to handle instrument calibrations when the key person was unavailable to direct the process.The entire process is called "Corrective Action." The purpose and benefit of "Corrective Action" is to allow your company to identify problems and mistakes, solve them and install procedures that prevent them from happening over again. Recurring problems in a quality system can increase rework, thus cutting into production and job profits. If safety is involved, recurring problems can lead to accidents and injuries. The more you are willing as an organization to recognize problems and address them, the less likely these problems will reoccur. This is called continually improving your operation so your organization can operate more smoothly and cost effectively and keep your customers satisfied. At the end of the day this may mean the difference between staying in business at the level your organization wishes to operate or reducing, or worse, ceasing operations.

For more information about how to implement a Corrective Action Plan, contact Henry Arato.