Quality assurance ( QS ) ( English Quality Assurance (QA) ) or quality control ( QK ) ( English Quality Control (QC) ) is a collective term for different approaches and measures to ensure specified quality requirements.
According to DIN EN ISO 9000: 2015 3.3.6, quality assurance is the part of quality management that aims to create trust that quality requirements are met.
Quality assurance existed before the term itself came up. Quality assurance became known in the German-speaking world when companies began to have their quality management system (QMS) certified in accordance with the ISO 9001 series of standards established in 1987 .
Static quality assurance
In static quality assurance, the quality parameters are specified externally, i. This means that several contractual partners agree on a corridor within which the production or service results must move. The agreed basic quality values are checked regularly by audits . External auditors also come into the organization and carry out previously agreed reviews. The auditors use test reports to report internally where there is an urgent need for action and externally whether the organization has achieved the minimum requirements and can obtain certification. The certification does not represent the entire organization, but is limited to the agreed quality area.
Standardized quality assurance
Dynamic quality assurance
In dynamic quality assurance, the independent development of an organization is in the foreground. There are no external requirements here, but the organization must decide for itself in which areas it wants to go which development path with which resources. Dynamic quality assurance is primarily used in organizations that have to structure, maintain and update rapidly growing areas of knowledge and processes. Quality assurance primarily serves as an indispensable tool for creating efficiency and transparency. Certifications are not a mandatory part of the dynamic model. If they are carried out, however, they are not limited to individual areas of the organization, but essentially represent the degree of penetration of quality development.
Quality assurance tools
The optimization cycle is the smallest change process within a QMS . It consists of four steps: measuring the current state; Implement an improvement; Measuring the change; Document the changed procedure.
The audit approval, also known as a visa, is a preparation tool. Since audits can contain explosive statements, the visa clarifies, among other things, who will be informed about the results of the audits and what consequences certain results trigger. The informative value of an audit depends to a large extent on professional preparation, as those affected only provide honest and transparent information if they can see that their information is being handled with confidence and care. Since audits can cause a lot of internal damage through a loss of trust, thorough preparation is a training focus for auditors .
Vision or mission statement
In the mission statement, an organization describes a grand vision that it is striving for. A characteristic of a vision is to describe things that do not yet exist and the feasibility of which has not yet been clarified. A mission statement is important for an organization when the direction of development is not fixed, but is part of the development process. In this way, the mission statement creates wide areas of orientation that can then be implemented step by step in missions. Mission statements are particularly meaningful if they have been developed by as many people involved in an organization as possible. In advanced organizations, a profile (or “status quo”) is described in addition to the mission statement. The profile reflects what has already been implemented in concrete forms from the mission statement and has thus become part of the organization.
The process description (or documentation) documents all procedures and parts of them that are carried out regularly. The process description thus represents the memory of an organization. The essential components of a process description are the owner, who is responsible for maintenance, and a second person ensures that it is regularly updated.
Economy card ( balanced scorecard )
The economic map is mainly used in dynamic quality assurance. It is a tool through which an organization can make optimal use of its scarce financial and human resources. The economic map is used to define which change measures can be implemented with what effort and in what time. For a predetermined period (usually for one year) it can be determined which measures can work together to achieve the best results. The aim of the economic map is to optimally bundle the forces in an organization and to prevent overloading by agreeing on achievable change goals.
Quality assurance in special areas / industries
In the self-management of quality development comes to a special place. Since there is usually no hierarchical management structure here, there is no specification of development goals and verification of compliance with them. The tools of dynamic quality assurance offer the possibility of building broad consensus here. Since it is not a question of reviewing external requirements, all parties involved can develop several processes that they are convinced will best implement their own vision.
see care quality
- Psychology / psychological diagnostics
- Baker's trade
- Food industry
see participatory guarantee system (QA initiatives for local markets)
Quality management systems
Information on the characteristics of different quality management systems can be found at:
- Jürgen Behrens: Quality management as a success factor. Customer satisfaction and profitability. Practical examples. BW, Bildung-und-Wissen-Verlag, Nuremberg 2001, ISBN 3-8214-7605-2 .