May 1, 2023

This white paper is a continuation of a transformational CAPA Process Improvement story put in motion in 2018 by MDIC. It was initiated in response to the cry of engineers everywhere within the medical device industry whom, if asked what they like most about their jobs, would point to solving problems and driving product improvements. But what do they like least? Often, they will tell you that it’s the CAPA process. Today’s CAPA process has become highly focused on compliance, many manufacturers taking a “one-size-fits-all” approach. What’s worse, the fear of findings by regulatory bodies leads companies to spend an out-sized amount of time on paperwork, regardless of identified product and/or process risk levels, often slowing down the implementation of improvements.

It was in light of this reality that the MDIC Case for Quality Collaborative Community (CfQcc)1 launched its CAPA Process Improvement program, with the goal of enabling faster continuous improvement through the use of a more efficient and effective CAPA process. This opportunity to work together to improve the CAPA process and enable greater improvement quickly mobilized organizations from around the world to voluntarily join the global CAPA Process Improvement team, including MDIC members from more than 20 medical device organizations and representatives of consulting firms and the FDA.

The team’s true north throughout this multi-year project was to work to enable organizations to achieve faster process and product improvements. To do this, the proposed framework shifts the focus away from documenting just to achieve compliance and moves it toward the central purpose of CAPA: problem-solving. The team recognized that documentation should be commensurate with risk while adding value to the organization and that systems should be implemented to ensure a healthy problem-solving process is in place. The objective was to make today’s CAPA process more effective, efficient, and user friendly—while still meeting the intent of regulations.