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What should a Quality Control Manager be doing?

By Linda Jackson on 14 June 2017

A recent discussion prompted a thorough investigation of the differences between quality control and quality assurance. According to the American Society for quality, Quality assurance and quality control are two aspects of quality management. While some quality assurance and quality control activities are interrelated, the two are defined differently. 


ISO 9001:2015 definitions...

According to ISO 9000:2015: Quality management systems—Fundamentals and vocabulary:


Quality assurance consists of that “part of quality management focused on providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled.” The confidence provided by quality assurance is twofold—internally to management and externally to customers, government agencies, regulators, certifiers, and third parties.

Quality control is that “part of quality management focused on fulfilling quality requirements.”

While quality assurance relates to how a process is performed or how a product is made, quality control is more the inspection aspect of quality management.

Inspection is the process of measuring, examining, and testing to gauge one or more characteristics of a product or service and the comparison of these with specified requirements to determine conformity. Products, processes, and various other results can be inspected to make sure that the object coming off a production line, or the service being provided, is correct and meets specifications.

So, does your product consistently meet the requirements? Does it look like a quality product? Does it taste like a quality product?

Quality Manager Activities

The following table outlines what a quality manager should be doing:


Developing and maintaining Raw Material specifications for all products
Developing and maintaining Final Product Specifications for all products
Developing and validating QC testing methods for all products
Training of the QC staff on these methods
Implementationof Good Laboratory Practices
Sensory panel training for all products - tasting products is very specialised and may require external expertise
 Calibration methods for all QC equipment
Develop a product traceability system in conjunction with production to ensure there are batch sheets for all products
 Develop and control product recipes/formulations if there is no R&D
 Customer complaint records and investigations
 Implementation of the control of nonconforming product system to manage rework, returns and waste
 Daily hygiene checks or Daily spot checks on enforcement of hygiene requirements in all areas
 On-line quality checks at receiving, various stages in production and final product, including packaging and labelling
 Final product release and any concessions related to this
Managing and co-ordinating product testing if done by external laboratory
Co-ordinating corrective action on results
Development and validation of cleaning procedures for all areas


Do you have anything you would like to add to this list?
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ISO 9001:2015