Quality assurance (QA) is the act or process of confirming that a firm's quality requirements are being met. Managing the quality of production involves planning, fulfilling, and monitoring activities. Quality assurance is the monitoring facet of that discipline..


What is the meaning of Quality Assurance?

Quality assurance encompasses the processes and procedures that systematically monitor different aspects of a service or facility. Through audits and other forms of assessment, quality assurance efforts detect and correct problems or variances that fall outside established standards or requirements.

In other words, quality assurance ensures a high level of quality during the development of products or services.

The Industrial Revolution brought about more specialization in labor, as well as mechanization. Quality assurance evolved to address specialized tasks performed by workers. With the introduction of mass production, the need to monitor the quality of components being produced by large numbers of workers created a role for quality inspectors.


International Quality Assurance Standards

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was founded in 1947 with the goal of ensuring quality across national borders. ISO consists of standards organizations that represent over 160 countries. It maintains an effective quality assurance system for manufacturing and service industries.


One product of the ISO is the set of standards that have become known as the ISO 9000 family. The criteria detailed in these management systems are designed to help organizations meet statutory and regulatory requirements for product quality and consumer needs.


Manufacturers and businesses can become certified by fulfilling the requirements defined in ISO 9001. This offers independent confirmation of an organization's adherence to quality standards. More than 1 million organizations around the world are ISO 9001 certified.


To obtain ISO 9001 certification, the management of an organization develops quality assurance goals that are codified into policies and guidelines. These policies and guidelines are specifically designed to meet the unique needs of its business and manufacturing processes, and they're often crafted with the assistance of a consultant.


Once the organization implements the guidelines, the systems are assessed for compliance with ISO 9000 standards. The results of the assessment identify any areas that fall outside of ISO standards. If the organization addresses any problem areas within a given time frame, then it receives certification.


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