What is a Quality Control Plan?
A quality control plan is a set of written documents that discusses in detail the steps to follow in order for products and goods to be at par with the organization’s quality standards. The plan includes all the policies and procedures to comply with, as well as the corrective actions to be implemented once non-conformance or product defects are found. The general goal of a quality control plan is to continuously improve products and to ensure that they are of the optimum quality.
What to Include?
The documents and information that comprise a quality control plan can vary based on the industry, business, project, or even the product itself, but it commonly includes the following details:
- Plan overview and objectives
- Task authority and responsibilities
- Resources and suppliers
- Policies and procedures
- Corrective and preventive actions
- Testing parameters
- Acceptance criteria
- Audits, inspections, or evaluations
- Required notifications and alerts
- Other relevant actions to meet the criteria (e.g., training and courses)
What is a Quality Control Plan Template?
A quality control plan template is a ready-to-use file that businesses can use to create their own quality control plan. It serves both as a guide and written documentation of the procedures to follow in maintaining a business’ quality control practices.
A comprehensive quality control plan template ensures that essential steps are executed and implemented by all the people involved. Modifying plan templates according to the observed effectiveness also helps achieve continuous improvement in quality-related processes.
Through the use of quality control plan templates, businesses can establish consistent production standards across all relevant projects, and test product quality against predetermined specifications before putting them out in the market.
How to Create a Quality Control Plan
Developing a quality control plan simplifies a company’s protocols on quality-related processes. Clearly define procedures and create your own quality control plan by following these 6 simple steps:
Step 1: Discuss plan overview and objectives
Give a quick introduction of the plan including its background, scopes, or any company details you deem necessary to mention. Next, as objectives are the backbone of your plan—clearly specify all the important details that would contribute in achieving a streamlined plan for your quality control processes. It could contain details on which goals to achieve, the associated costs and resources, or the timeline/deadline to follow.
Before proceeding to the creation of the plan, seek a review from your top management. You should be aware of their perspective on the company’s current policies and procedures regarding quality and make it a point to also confirm if there are certain areas you should focus on. To achieve an effective quality control plan, the management will have to be engaged in approving or modifying changes in quality control standards.
Step 2: Assign responsibilities
Make an organizational chart of all the departments and teams involved in the plan. After that, assign tasks to each and ensure that their responsibilities are clear. Distributing tasks and authority early on helps implement the plan, efficiently and effectively.
Step 3: Mention policies and procedures
One of the most crucial steps in creating a quality control plan is to clearly define all the policies, procedures, and processes involved in making sure that all the goods produced by the company are of the best quality. Aside from the policies, describe all the preventive measures that would help avoid defects from occurring or the corrective actions to follow if product defects are observed. It would also be advantageous to add the testing parameters and accepting criteria for the products to be considered compliant with quality standards.
Step 4: List resources and suppliers
List down all the resources and materials needed by all people involved to ensure a smooth implementation of the identified plans.
If you require a third-party vendor, mention them as well—this is to verify that all potential suppliers will also be evaluated for their reputation, brand, and product quality.
Step 5: Perform audits and inspections
Check product quality by conducting various quality assessments such as quality control inspection, quality audit, or quality risk management. This can also be an ongoing process to ensure that best practices are being followed and are consistently implemented. Audits and inspections are also a great determining factor to identify which of the processes work and which of them needs further modification.
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Step 6: Add other necessary items
There’s no standardized format in developing quality-related plans for all businesses. This step can just be a reminder that you can include any item you consider vital in creating an effective quality control plan for your business.