Quality plan

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Quality plan
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Quality plan is a document specifying which procedures and related resources should be used, who and when to implement them in relation to a specific project, product, process or contract.

These procedures are usually related to the processes of quality management and product implementation processes. The ISO 9000 standard stresses that the establishment of a quality plan can be part of the quality planning, and the quality plan is usually one of the results of this process.

For projects undertaken in relation to new products, services or processes, it is advisable to prepare quality plans in writing in accordance with the requirements of the quality management system in the company.

The quality plan is usually limited to a specific area related to the contract, product or project. Control, testing and supervision plans are also quality plans.

Contents of the quality plan

Depending on the industry in which the organization and the nature of the work, the composition of the quality plan section may vary. Despite this, there are sections that should be included in each quality plan.

  • Application range. This section contains information about the subject of the quality plan. An object can be a project, process or contract. They further specify the requirements that must be met during the work. Requirements can be determined directly or by reference to normative documents.
  • Objectives. In this section, the values ​​of the cell are usually marked to be achieved as a result of work or, if the goals can not be quantified, the indicators are qualitatively formulated. In addition, methods for achieving goals and performance measurement methods may be indicated in this section.
  • Management responsibility. The responsibilities, functions and answers of the superiors and employees are described in this chapter. An organizational structure of work management can also be prepared and the subordination and impact of the work of the work participants is indicated.
  • Document management and control. As a general rule, documents are the basic means of communication in the work control system. The quality plan may specify the composition of documents, methods of identification and registration, responsible for the creation, review and approval, as well as the means of obtaining access to documents.
  • Design management and development. If design is planned during work - the quality plan should include a design plan. In this case, the applicable design standards, technical requirements and quality design specifications are given. Input sources and rules for the correctness of design results are required. In addition, this section defines the procedure for project checking and change management rules.
  • Production management. This chapter contains the procedures and rules for carrying out the work and activities necessary for the inspection. If the quality plan is created on the basis of the existing QMS documentation (quality management system), references to existing quality system procedures are added. If it is planned to carry out works that have not been included in the existing quality management system, in this chapter you need to develop a system for managing such activities. These should include work steps, attached documents, operating instructions, the composition of tools, equipment and techniques, control methods and acceptance criteria.
  • Monitoring and measurements. These are the basic functions of ensuring quality of work. The quality plan in this section should include the applied methods of monitoring and measuring the performance characteristics, the stages at which the inspection is performed, the composition of the controlled parameters, and the criteria for accepting the work.
  • Audits. Regardless of the size and nature of the work, quality control is necessary to assess compliance with the standards and requirements of the quality plan. These inspections may be carried out by employees or external auditors.

In this section, the quality plan indicates who will carry out the audits, how often and how much the audit scope is determined.

  • Managing discrepancies. In this section, the quality plan defines the types of discrepancies and a plan to deal with any type of discrepancy. Also in this chapter indicate who is responsible for making decisions on the implementation of certain activities related to identified non-conformities.
  • Risk management. The section defines the risk structure, risk determination methods and methods to control their occurrence during work. Actions to reduce risk and its impact on business goals and results are also determined here.
  • Personnel management, employee training and their qualifications. The quality plan should include requirements regarding education, training and skills of employees performing work. If additional employee training is needed, the quality plan sets out a training schedule or a procedure for involving employees with the necessary skills.

Quality plan and the maturity stage of the product

In practice, the elements of the quality plan are chosen depending on what it is about to affect. You can take into account, depending on the stage on which the product is located:

  • Pre-production stage:
    • setting requirements for the product,
    • subcontracting choice,
    • purchase realization,
    • delivery control.
  • Production stage:
    • planning of production processes,
    • production operation,
    • process control,
    • performance of another production operation,
    • process control,
    • control and testing of finished products.
  • The post-production stage:
    • storage of finished products,
    • delivery of finished products to the customer,
    • collecting data on products.

The full quality plan should also specify the persons responsible for the next stages of the process and references to relevant procedures, instructions, inspection plans and other documents.