It is not as simple as it may sound. It certainly does not mean that it may be taken for granted that the requirements for quality will be met. As long as human factor is involved in any process, the output cannot be a 100% predictable. It is human to err, and we must face it. Therefore QUALITY ASSURANCE may only be perceived as the way to provide reasonable confidence that the requirements will be met.
Careful planning of the processes and providing the evidence that the processes are systematically carried out as per established plans can only attain such confidence. Attaining confidence will also require some sort of verification that what is being done conforms to the plans, and that the plans continue to be suitable for meeting the requirements. Such verifications may, on occasions, lead to the conclusion that the plans have to be updated or changed. This fundamental concept is based on the so-called "DEMING WHEEL".
ISO 9001:2000 defines QUALITY ASSURANCE as:
"part of quality management focused on providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled"
This definition does not refer to the customer's confidence only. It is quite clear that there is an INTERNAL and EXTERNAL purpose for QUALITY ASSURANCE.
The INTERNAL ASPECT : QUALITY ASSURANCE within an organization gives confidence to the management. It is the confidence that we are understanding the requirements of our customers at all times and that we have the established capability to meet these requirements at the lowest possible cost, thus continuously making a profit.
The EXTERNAL ASPECT : QUALITY ASSURANCE within an organization provides confidence to the customer.
Looking at the definition of QUALITY ASSURANCE it becomes apparent that the key issue is to define what our products are and to determine what the requirements for quality are.
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