A Simple CA (Corrective Action) Database


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:( I am in need of a simple easy to use database for Corrective Action that can be used without much IT support (staff reduction). Help!!
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We also are looking for some simple system to document our CA system. We have not done any research yet on this so any suggestions out there would be greatly appreciated. Preferably something with automatic notification each way (to dept that needs to respond and when response is entered back to requestor)


Welcome to the Cove Bigfoot.

Do you have to have something as sophisticated as a database? I use a log for C/A created as a table in Word. By adding it to my Start-up Menu it pops up first thing every day for review. By designating columns you can sort the table any way you want for analysis. I have used this method for years and never had it questioned by an auditor. The thing I like most is that it works for me and I don't need any IT support.

It looks like Sean is looking for something a little more IT oriented and this would appear too simple for his purpose. Maybe others here have some good feedback that will help you Sean.



Involved - Posts
The log would likely serve my needs currently, but I was trying to think ahead :bonk: , hoping to get some ideas to use for electronic notification, reminders, due dates, etc. I remember seeing a thread here, where someone had made reference to using MS Outlook to do Corrective Action tracking but can't find it again. :mad:
Recommend MS Access

Years ago I created a tracking system in Access. I liked it mostly for the ability to create reports etc.

I currently am using Access for External rejections and Corrective Actions. Our internal NC's and CA's are handled through a Shop database that will interact with MS Access so I can download any information I need and run analysis on it.

Access is more complex than excel, but is pretty straight forward. (I know just enough to be dangerous)

Plus it gives a lot of flexibility and allow you to grow the system.


PS I also created a calibration database, also in Access. Works very well.

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member
Currently, we use an Access db to track CAPA activities, generate forms, reports, and queries for specific analysis. As far as prompts and notifications, weekly reporting uses on screen prompts helps the administrator to quickly assess what's currently going on while the reporting uses conditional formats to highlight areas needing attention. The nice thing about using Access is the availability of snapshot files which can be sent to most anyone (as long as you have a Microsoft platform). Even if a person doesn't have Acces as an installed application, they can open the reports through the Snapshot viewer. It's pretty slick.

As a means of reminders, I use Microsoft Outlook in conjunction with Access. I enter due dates to prompt myself of required activities. You may want to give this a shot. Otherwise, there's a host of software out there you can buy, but personally, it hasn't worked very well with CAPA systems I've designed. I found myself throwing it out and building our own system. Word and Excel are equally effective in getting the job done as Dave points out. Keep it simple.


Tips for Access

Are you already familiar with Access?

Basically take a little time to decide what kind of reports you want to get, what foms will be useful etc. Then decide what information you need to put in and create our table(s).

When you create a table It will ask you if you want to create a Primary key. I have always said no because I have had some trouble with it in the past. (but that just may be me)

I also like to have seperate tables for things like customer names, root cause, disposition etc. then I plug these into the appropriate form using a drop down menu. That way things are kept consistant and helps when your are doing reports etc.

Most of all (if your new to Access) be patient. It took me about 3 months playing with it in the evenings to get it working the way I wanted it.

Hope this helps


Greg B

Bigfoot said:
Thanks for the feedback. Any tips that I should watch out for as I attempt to set up an access database?

I agree with James. Take your time to map out what you want (I literally wrote it all our on A3 sheets (Tables, Queries, Forms, Reports, Macros etc). For instance: The Major table (I have 40 Tables) has 60 fields (many of these are taken directly from the CA form). In this way, we can record ALL of the data entered on the form. I have many Sub-Tables designed to be used as drop down menus (makes things easier when entering data) like Managers titles, Departments, Type of Event (Contamination, Damaged packaging etc).

When I make a Table I always make a master query based on the table. In this way you can make forms (for data entry) easier. As James stated, this could take you many months to complete. I am still playing around with my DB after three years. It is a WIP.

I did a few VERY basic courses but as with all MS Software I learned more by using the program and playing around with it.
Greg B
Greg - 40 tables????

Wow Greg I didn't wind up with more than maybe a half dozen tables.

But your right. Taking the time up front to map what you want is critical.
I also Like the Idea of creating a master Query for each table.

MS Access should have some sample DB's in it. Also some prebuilt ones (like inventory control) I would reocmmend taking a look at these to help learn how the systems work. Set up one of the prebuilt Databases and look at how it functions.

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