What Is a Design Quality Control Plan?

Before we get to know about what a design quality control plan is, perhaps it would be appropriate to familiarize ourselves with quality control first. By definition, quality control refers to the activities of implementing, monitoring, and continuously improving processes to ensure the delivery of quality products, services, and information. Quality control activities include making clear decisions and giving clear directions, constantly supervising by experienced individuals, immediately reviewing completed activities for accuracy and completeness, and accurately documenting all decisions, assumptions, and recommendations.

A design quality control plan is a business document that outlines the general guidelines that are associated with ensuring that a quality design is produced for a particular project. In other words, it is a written set of procedures and activities aimed at delivering products that meet the quality objectives stated in contract documents as well as other procedures, manuals, and guidance. It will also identify the organization or individuals in charge of quality control, as well as the specific procedures used to ensure the delivery of a high-quality product. This document also outlines quality assurance measures, as well as the method of accountability and documentation required.

What Are the Elements of a Quality Control Plan?

A simple but effective quality control plan should have the following elements in place; take note that some specific elements can be present depending on the type of quality control plan being made.

Objectives. Including objectives in your quality control plan will allow you to effectively assess your performance. Because quality can mean different things to different businesses, defining what it means for your brand and target customers is critical. Product design and specifications are critical in defining goals. So, what materials go into your product, and how well does it perform? If we assume that your product’s design is complete (and well-designed), you must include detailed specifications in your quality plan. The more detailed the specifications are, the clearer the objectives will be.Steps and Practices. It is a worthwhile goal to run your business as efficiently as possible. So make a list of the steps you’ll take to ensure quality. For example, after placing an order with the factory, you should notify your third-party inspection company of the date the factory completes production so they know when to inspect. Consider all of the quality-related steps you need to take and include them in your plan in this element of the quality control plan. This will provide you with steps to take so that nothing is overlooked.Responsibilities. The way you divide responsibilities will be determined by the size of your company — you could be a solo entrepreneur, work with partners, hire employees, or be an employee yourself. When problems arise, it will be clear who is in charge of dealing with them. This way, you can avoid issues being dropped due to misunderstanding.Quality Standards. If you are going to hold the manufacturer accountable for the product specifications, you need to have a set of well-defined quality standards in place.Inspection, Audits, and Testing. During product inspections, an inspector will visit the company or factory and will verify that the products being produced meet quality standards. In a factory audit, an auditor evaluates the systems and production facility of a new or existing supplier. Their report assists the company in determining how well the manufacturer meets the needs, and the results also aid in the evaluation of their quality systems, social responsibility, environmental friendliness, and anything else directly relevant. In the testing phase, the product is sent to a laboratory for analysis. The resulting report helps determine the product’s properties — such as whether it contains harmful substances. Testing can also assess how well the product meets performance standards.Modifications. Your quality control plan may need to be updated as your situation changes. Maybe you alter a component or material in your product specifications. Alternatively, if your factory has been consistently meeting quality targets, you may want to change your acceptable defect levels or inspect less frequently. Make a list of all situations that will necessitate changes to your quality plan.Measures for Success and Failure. Your inspection, audit, and lab test reports will reveal whether you succeeded or failed. Examining these is one way to ensure that your shipments and suppliers are meeting your requirements. Aside from reviewing individual reports, you should keep track of trends over time. Determine how you intend to use these reports and incorporate this information into your quality control plan.Other elements. You may include anything else you believe is relevant to quality management. For example, you might decide on steps you’ll take to maintain good relationships with your suppliers and quality service providers, such as scheduling regular check-ins with your contacts.

Various Methods or Tools For Measuring Quality

Here are the different techniques that are implemented during quality control:

Step by Step Process in Creating an Effective Design Quality Control Plan

An effective design quality control plan will streamline the process of a company’s quality assurance procedure by defining clear protocols, defining employee duties, and their potential responses. With that being said, here are the steps to be taken in creating a design quality control plan.

  • 1. Create an Organization Chart

    In this step, the management should first sketch out an Organizational Chart that includes job descriptions, business qualifications, and the various types of training needed to carry out each quality assurance procedure. These requirements must be documented in order to demonstrate that employees conducting inspections are properly trained and qualified. This document should be kept on file so that it can be shown to upper management if there are any concerns or errors.

  • 2. Outline Responsibilities

    The management must define the responsibilities of internal employees and external affiliates. Each party should be aware of the processes for which they are responsible and who will be responsible for quality control.

    While some small businesses allow employees to quality check and verify their own work, these procedures are usually performed separately by staff members. This necessitates separate documentation to ensure that adequate time was allotted to each task, as multitasking can lead to increased human error.

    On the other hand, large-scale companies prefer different employees within the same department to double-check their coworkers’ work. These quality assurance specifications should be clearly defined in order to avoid confusion and ensure that each step is carried out correctly.

  • 3. Purchase and Acquire Materials

    Management should understand the specifications before ordering components that meet the desired quality standards. While finding the Cheapest Vendors may save companies money, it may fall short of their quality assurance standards. As a result, before beginning the ordering process, it is critical to define the key characteristics of materials. Employees should inspect the shipment once the materials have been delivered to ensure that all products are up to standard. If the delivery falls short of the expected quality level, the company should return the items to the supplier.

  • 4. Verify the Qualifications of the Supplier

    While inspecting raw materials is relatively simple, performing quality assurance on more complex components and equipment can be difficult. As a result, before submitting a bid, businesses should specify their requirements and standards for vendors. Businesses, for example, may require a third-party audit of a vendor to ensure that their internal processes comply with regulations. Then, before finalizing a contract, organizations should assess potential suppliers’ reputation, brand, and qualifications.

  • 5. Evaluate Feedback

    While the goal of quality assurance is to ensure that products are up to standard before they are presented to customers, feedback is an excellent tool for improving quality and item performance. Companies can identify a product’s strengths and weaknesses by investigating online reviews, user complaints, and suggestions. Organizations should establish an effective Customer Service team that compares reviews to compliance records to determine whether malfunctions were caused by noncompliance. If an employee discovers a non-compliant process, they must report it.

  • 6. Develop Processes for Corrective Action

    In the last step, businesses must develop a Corrective Action Plan to address quality issues such as violations and noncompliance. When a non-compliant process is reported, the employee in charge of quality control must determine how the problem arose. It could be due to a malfunction or worker negligence. Once the root cause has been identified, the company must put in place a solution to prevent the event from happening again. Additional quality checks or automated software, such as inventory ordering solutions, could be included.


What is the difference between internal quality control and external quality control?

Internal quality control refers to the process of developing an in-house protocol for testing your system. It can range from routine equipment inspection to having a coworker review another employee’s data analysis or running standards and controls on a regular basis. It is generally up to the management of the company to determine whether internal quality control measures are reliable and are carried out as required.

External quality control occurs when products or data are sent to a business that is not affiliated with your company. Food production is one example of external quality control. A food company may routinely analyze the nutritional value or shelf life of a food item it produces in its own lab, but the same food item will also be sent to an outside lab for verification.

What is the difference between Quality Assurance and Quality Control?

Quality assurance is a component of quality management that focuses on providing assurance that quality requirements will be met. Quality assurance provides confidence to management on two levels: internally and externally to customers, government agencies, regulators, certifiers, and third parties. It is also defined as all planned and systematic activities carried out within the quality system that can be demonstrated to provide confidence that a product or service will meet quality requirements.

On the other hand, quality control is a component of quality management that focuses on meeting quality requirements. While quality assurance is concerned with how a process or product is carried out, quality control is concerned with the inspection aspect of quality management. It is also known as the operational techniques and activities used to meet quality requirements.

What is a Quality Management System?

A quality management system (QMS) refers to a formalized system for documenting processes, procedures, and responsibilities for meeting quality policies and objectives. A quality management system (QMS) aids in the coordination and direction of an organization’s activities in order to meet customer and regulatory requirements while also continuously improving its effectiveness and efficiency.

With an effective quality control plan, a business or a company can ensure that all the products that they manufacture will meet the high standards that are to be expected and the different kinds of corrective measures that are in place to address various consumer concerns. Having a quality control plan in place will also show the customers that the company values the feedback that they’ve given and in turn will always push to provide their best possible products on the market. In this article, examples of an effective design quality control plan are posted so that you can download them and use them as a personal reference in case you need to make one for your company.