Quality assurance simply means meeting customer requirements effectively.
Quality assured organisations are those that operate according to a set of guidelines or criteria determined by an external body in relation to delivering quality services to meet customer requirements. A globally well known and used quality criterion is a Standard called ISO 9001:2000.
Every type and size of business can operate to this generic criterion at any time. However, some organisations choose to get formally certified to the Standard. At that time they become an officially registered quality assured business.
Quality assurance works on the principal that in order to meet customer requirements processes need to be refined and management practices need to effectively control every area of the business functions.
Whether starting a new business, expanding an existing business or reaching for financially rewarding contracts requiring the organisation to hold quality certification, the principals and systems that the Standard ISO 9001 define for business excellence can be applied.
To start on the road to becoming a quality certified organisation is relatively simple. Management need to make the decision and then appoint a quality manager.
Training is available through many quality organisations, and consultants are available to assist with either individual or group training, and also the development and implementation of a quality management system (including documentation).
Some consultants will assist the quality manager throughout the entire implementation and internal auditing stages and conduct onsite training of personnel appointed to become internal auditors for the organisation’s quality management system.
On request or arrangement, consultants usually support the Quality Manager on the day of the external audit when the organisation may achieve quality certification status.
For a fully supportive package to ensure quality implementation is effective, quality organisations usually offer instalment payment options which assist the organisation to begin with little outlay and set targets for when the quality management system is to reach certification stage.
It is worth researching different options to ensure available resources and relevant budgeting can be arranged. Top management are usually impressed with a quality manager who takes the initiative to conduct research and identify the specific needs of the organisation.
Once the business has passed certification and is considered a registered quality assured organisation, quality logos are provided by the issuing certification body in different colours. These may be displayed on advertising materials.
Quality assurance consultancy services are available from QA-Z Consulting Specialists.