Reviewed by Sep 30, 2020| Updated on
Quality Control (QC) is a procedure or collection of procedures designed to ensure that a manufactured product or service adheres to a given set of quality standards or satisfies consumer/client requirements.
QC is similar to Quality Assurance (QA), but not synonymous. While QA refers to verifying that a product or service has met stated specifications, QC refers to the actual inspection of such items.
QC is a mechanism in which individuals evaluate the quality of all factors involved in output. ISO 9001 describes quality control as "a component of quality management which is geared towards meeting quality requirements."
This approach focuses on three aspects (set out in standards such as ISO 9001):
Elements such as controls, job management, well-defined processes, performance and integrity criteria, and record identification.
Competence, such as knowledge, skills, experience, and qualifications.
Soft elements such as staff, integrity, trust, organizational culture, motivation, team spirit, and quality relationships.
An organization must first determine which technical requirements the product or service must follow to implement an efficient QC system. Then assess the extent of QC actions. For example, the number of units to be checked from each set.
First, it is important to obtain real-world data such as the number of units that fail and the results communicated to management personnel. After that, corrective action has to be decided.
In case of defective units, they must be repaired or rejected, and service must be repeated to rectify the poor service at no charge until the customer is satisfied. If too many unit failures or poor service instances occur, a plan must be drawn to enhance the production or service process. Then, that plan must be enforced.
Finally, the QC must be an ongoing process to ensure that remedial efforts, if required, have produced satisfactory results and to detect recurrences or new instances of trouble immediately.