How do I Perform a Quality Control Check?

Malcolm Tatum

A quality control check is a process that is used to make sure that all current quality control policies and procedures are being observed within the general operation of a business. The idea is to evaluate the operational process in light of the specific quality guidelines that apply to that particular department or division. While methods for performing a quality control check will vary, based on the type of business activity involved, just about any quality control audit will require the use of a checklist that not only identifies specific actions to investigate, but often involves assessing to what degree those actions are in compliance with the quality standards of the company.

Quality control engineers make sure that products are being built according to specifications.
Quality control engineers make sure that products are being built according to specifications.

Key to the process of conducting a quality control check is the preparation of a comprehensive quality checklist. The complexity of the checklist will depend on the nature of the business activity involved. In some cases, the structure of the list will involve nothing more than a basic set of questions relating to the actions that require a simple yes or no response. Other lists may be somewhat more comprehensive, with questions segregated into specific groupings. Within the groupings, each individual question may require more than a simple response, possibly using a scale to indicate the level of compliance that is observed during the quality control check.

The actual performance of a quality control check typically involves both observation and personal inspection by an auditor who is well versed in the quality standards of the business. For example, the quality control auditor who is inspecting raw materials used in the creation of textile products will often not only observe how well the materials move through carding, spinning, and weaving frames with a minimum of breakage, but will also physically touch the materials and test the strength of the fibers. In some cases, samples from each lot of raw materials would be subjected to tests in an on-site lab, confirming the purity, even nature of the color dye within the material, and the uniformity of the fiber strength.

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Performing a quality control check on raw materials, machinery and even on the level of efficiency that is exhibited by employees during the performance of specific tasks is crucial to any business operation. The goal is to make sure that all activity is well within company standards and that each aspect of the operation is functioning efficiently. Often, a quality control check can identify areas in which improvement can be made, allowing the business to make the necessary changes and enhance productivity while also ensuring quality.

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