A Quality Assurance Plan

19 January 2011

A quality assurance plan is the foundation that a total quality plan is built upon. This is the section that documents the strategies and pathways for the rest of the quality plan. This is also the plan that addresses the issues that need to be documented so the deliverable of a product will achieve the goals set forth in the project charter.

The quality assurance plan or QA plan is developed by the QA department of a company. Their only job is to establish this set of documents for use by the company and especially the quality control department. Unlike other portions of a project, which once completed the department moves on, the QA department is never finished with this assignment.

The quality assurance plan is an ever evolving set of documents that must be under constant review and updating to keep them current. The reason being is that the work environment is a constantly changing that needs to be addressed on a continuous basis. This will include the workforce, the equipment and the incoming raw materials to name a few.

Without a constantly updated quality assurance plan, the QC department will not have any procedures or methods to follow when a raw material supplier is changed to a similar product or a new concern is raised about a product. An example of this was when lead was found in the toys being produced by China a few years back. There was a rush by all the end product users of free toys, like doctors and dentist, to have their supplies of toys immediately tested to ensure they were safe for distribution. The QA departments are the ones the quickly and correctly solved this dilemma.

To have a quality assurance plan, the goals and scope of the deliverable must be known along with the specifications it is to meet. This information that is found must be followed as it is written so the dynamics of the deliverable are not changed.