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Quality Management

What is quality?
How is the achievement of quality managed?
How do we control quality?
What is quality assurance?
How do we go about improving quality?
What is a quality management system?
What has ISO 9000 got to do with quality and its management?

How do I get help?

We provide a number of resources that can help you manage your quality programme more effectively. Just follow the links in the navigation panel on the left to find out more.  If you have a more specific query please contact us now

What is quality?  ..top

Quality is simply the extent to which requirements are fulfilled by an output e.g. a decision, event, product, process, document, organization or a service. Therefore, if all the requirement are fulfilled the output is of good quality and if not it is of poor quality. Further information on quality is contained in the ISO 9000 Quality Systems Handbook and also in our article....more

How is the achievement of quality managed?  ..top

Several methods have evolved to achieve, sustain and improve quality, they are quality control, quality improvement and quality assurance which collectively are known as quality management. This trilogy is illustrated in the figure. Techniques such as quality planning, quality costs, just in time, statistical process control etc. are all elements of these three methods. ISO 9000:2000 separates quality planning from quality control, quality improvement and quality assurance but by including planning within the domain of each concept, one can focus on the purpose of planning more easily. Further information on quality is contained in the ISO 9000 Quality Systems Handbook and also in our article...more.  

How do we control quality?  ..top

Controlling quality is about controlling all the factors that affect your ability to fulfil requirements that you need to fulfil to accomplish your mission. This means controlling the specifications that define the required outputs and the processes that deliver these outputs. If you establish that variation in the characteristics or capability of a product, service, process or person will materially affect the output you are trying to produce, you need to control those characteristics or capability. For more information on controlling processes go to our process management section

Further information on quality control is contained in the ISO 9000 Quality Systems Handbook and also in our article...more

What is quality assurance?  ..top

Quality assurance is about providing confidence that quality is under control and the outputs are meeting requirements. Certain standards are referred to as quality assurance standards (such as ISO 9000) because they are used by customers to obtain an assurance of quality. One of the ways quality is assured is by audits, independent examinations of an organization's operations to verify that it is conforming with prescribed requirements. If you are looking for auditor training    ....more

How do we go about improving quality?  ..top

Before undertaking improvement you need to measure current performance. You will then be able to determine if the improvement action you have taken has had the desired effect. There are two types of quality improvements one concerned with better control and the other concerned with raising standards. If you need help in determining what to measure in order to yield the greatest improvement take a look at our Process measurement workshop. If you know you want to improve but need some help doing it effectively, take a look at out process Improvement workshop. Further information on improvement is available in our article ...more

What is a quality management system?  ..top

A quality management system is what delivers the organizations products and services. It is often described in a Quality Manual and sets of procedures but these are descriptions. They are not the system. If you want to know more about quality management systems then the ISO 9000 Quality System Handbook is the best there is. If you have a system and need to improve its effectiveness, take a look at our book Converting a QMS using the process approach.  Further information on quality management systems is available in our article ...more

What has ISO 9000 got to do with quality and its management?  ..top

If applied incorrectly, ISO 9000 will have nothing to do with quality and its management.  Unfortunately there are too many cases where ISO 9000 has been applied incorrectly resulting in systems of documentation rather than systems that enable the organization to fulfil its objectives. If used simply as a set of criteria against which you can judge the quality of your management system, it can help you identify omissions that if corrected will improve quality. If you want to know more about ISO 9000 take a look into our ISO 9000 consulting room

 

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