Root Cause Analysis
Director Board Of Directors at AOAC International
Michael Brodsky has been an Environmental Microbiologist for more than 42 years. He is a Past President of the Ontario Food Protection Association, The International Association for Food Protection and AOAC International.
He serves as co-Chair for the AOAC Expert Review Panel for Microbiology, as a scientific reviewer in Microbiology for the AOAC OMA and the AOAC Research Institute, as a reviewer for Standard Method for the Examination of Water and Wastewater and as a chapter editor on QA for the Compendium of Methods in Microbiology.
He is also a lead auditor/assessor in microbiology for the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) and is vice-chair of the CALA Board of Directors.
When you have a non-conformance in the laboratory, how do you approach it?
Do you jump in and start treating the symptoms? Or do you stop to consider whether there’s actually a deeper problem that needs your attention?
Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is a popular and often-used technique that helps people answer the question of why the problem occurred in the first place.
If you only fix the symptoms – what you see on the surface – the problem will almost certainly happen again… which will lead you to fix it, again, and again, and again. If, instead, you look deeper to figure out why the non-conformance is occurring, you can fix the underlying systems and processes that caused it.