Last edited 22 Dec 2020

Quality assurance


[edit] Introduction

Quality assurance (QA) is a way of preventing mistakes or defects in manufactured products and avoiding problems when delivering solutions or services to customers; which ISO 9000 defines as "part of quality management focused on providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled".[1] This defect prevention in quality assurance differs subtly from defect detection and rejection in quality control, and has been referred to as a shift left as it focuses on quality earlier in the process.[2]

Quality assurance comprises administrative and procedural activities implemented in a quality system so that requirements and goals for a product, service or activity will be fulfilled.[3] It is the systematic measurement, comparison with a standard, monitoring of processes and an associated feedback loop that confers error prevention.[4] This can be contrasted with quality control, which is focused on process output.

Two principles included in quality assurance are: "Fit for purpose" (the product should be suitable for the intended purpose); and "right first time" (mistakes should be eliminated). QA includes management of the quality of raw materials, assemblies, products and components, services related to production, and management, production and inspection processes.

Suitable quality is determined by product users, clients or customers, not by society in general. It is not related to cost, and adjectives or descriptors such as "high" and "poor" are not applicable. For example, a low priced product may be viewed as having high quality because it is disposable, whereas another may be viewed as having poor quality because it is not disposable.

[edit] QA Aims

The aims of QA are the standardisation and auditing processes to help ensure that products and services meet client expectations, that work is done right the first time, and that a culture of continuous improvements is introduced, all of which give added value to the product and associated benefits to the office in terms of reaping economic gain. A QA system can give structure to and demonstrate compliance with statutory legal requirements, such as CDM and health and safety.

[edit] Quality management system QMS

[edit] Tools

[edit] Office Manual

[edit] Quality management system requirements

[edit] Relevant ISO Standards

[edit] ISO9000

The ISO 9000 family addresses various aspects of quality management and contains some of ISO’s best known standards. The standards provide guidance and tools for companies and organizations who want to ensure that their products and services consistently meet customer’s requirements, and that quality is consistently improved.

Assure client of quality and efficiency of practice

ISO 9001 - Quality Management - Sets out requirements of a QMS to ensure meet needs of customers and other stakeholders

ISO 14001 - Environmental Management

[edit] ISO9001

An accredited standard that proves a companies ability to consistently provide products and services that meet the needs of their customers.

It should include:


8 Principles:

  1. Customer focused - meeting/ exceeding client requirements
  2. Leadership - clear leadership = clear direction + purpose
  3. Involvement of all - most efficient way through making all feel part of the process.
  4. Ensure process approach - Process more effective than all in. focus on small aspects + increasing quality.
  5. Systematic approach to management - manage multiple processes as a system to increase efficiency
  6. Continual Improvement - ISO 9001 ensures standards are high, efficient and productive contributing to continual improvement of practice.
  7. Factual approach to decisions - Base on prior experience and knowledge, more effective
  8. Mutually beneficial supplier relations - strong relationships can enhance productivity + encourage seamless working practices.

Sections and content:

[edit] ISO14001

A standard showing ongoing commitment to meet environmental operating standards.

3 fundamental commitments:


[edit] Construction Quality Assurance (CQA)

The SuDS Manual published by CIRIA in 2015 defines construction quality assurance (CQA) as: ‘A documented management system designed to provide adequate confidence that items or services meet contractual requirements and will perform adequately in service. CQA usually includes inspection and testing of installed components and recording the results.’

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

[edit] External references

  1. ISO 9000:2005, Clause 3.2.11.
  2. Larry, Smith (2001). "Shift-Left Testing".
  3. ASQ Definition.
  4. The Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) endorses this definition as part of its ongoing Common Language in Marketing Project.
  5. ASQ – History of Quality. Accessed 17 November 2014.
  6. Evans, James R. (1994) Introduction to Statistical Process Control, Fundamentals of Statistical Process Control, pp 1–13.
  8. Statistical Process Control (SPC) – ASQ.
  9. Thareja, Mannu; Thareja, Priyavrat (February 2007). "The Quality Brilliance Through Brilliant People". Quality World 4 (2). Retrieved 2010-01-11.
  10. "Managing Quality Across the Enterprise: Enterprise Quality Management Solution for Medical Device Companies". Sparta Systems. 2015-02-02.

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