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A Quality Plan is a document, or several documents, that together specify quality standards, practices, resources, specifications, and the sequence of activities relevant to a particular product, service, project, or contract. Quality plans should define a method for measuring the achievement of the Quality objectives. Quality objectives are measurable goals relevant to enhancing customer satisfaction and are consistent with the Quality policy. These objectives are initially established when planning your Quality Management System (QMS) and redefined in management reviews as needed. Examples can include goals to improve on-time delivery, defects, or scrap.

It is the responsibility of top management to ensure that a QMS is implemented and properly maintained. They should undertake QMS planning to ensure:

  1. The on-going development of the QMS to meet the requirements
  2. The on-going development of policies and objectives
  3. Processes and resources exist to identify characteristics at different stages
  4. The ability to proactively review and improve the QMS
  5. Verification activities, determine criteria for acceptability

Each department manager should develop and maintain a process map, flow chart, quality plan, operating procedure, etc., that show the workflow of the department as well as referencing evidence of compliance with the requirements of the QMS. If your organization outsources specific processes or requires strict control over its supplied product, it might be appropriate to establish a quality plan. This defines the quality practices, resources, and activities relevant to the product to be designed or supplied while also establishing how to meet the requirements for quality. The quality assurance requirements are then implemented through the use of this plan in conjunction with the manufacturer’s quality manual and operating procedures.

This plan further includes, but is not limited to, the following key activities, as appropriate, in meeting  the specified requirements for the products, projects, or contracts. The preparation of the quality plan might include:

  1. The identification of processes, resources, and skills to achieve quality
  2. The identification of suitable verification criteria at appropriate stages
  3. Demonstrating compatibility of design, production, inspection, and testing
  4. The clarification of standards of acceptability for all features per requirements
  5. Details of calibration of any special measuring or test equipment to be used
  6. Applying Total Quality to Sales (sales/customer service in need of quality training)

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