Quality Plan – What is it, Purpose and Contents

The purpose of a quality plan is to help an organization manage its quality program effectively and efficiently. It also helps the organization maintain consistency throughout its operations. The document should be developed so that it can be easily understood and implemented by all those involved with the product or service being planned.

This article will provide you with information on what’s in a quality plan, how to create one, and some sample templates.

What Is A Quality Plan?

A quality plan is a written document that describes the overall goals and objectives for your company’s quality management system. It outlines the specific activities that are required to achieve these goals.

Quality plans typically include:

  • An overview of the QMS
  • Organizational objectives to be attained
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Resources needed to implement the plan
  • Applicable operating practice, procedures, work instructions
  • Methods to check compliance: inspection, tests, and audits etc.
  • The process to manage changes
  • Ways to measure the achievement of the quality objectives

The Purpose of a Quality Plan

The primary objective of a quality plan is to describe the overall goals and objectives and outline the specific activities necessary to attain them. This makes it easier for everyone to understand and follow. It also establishes a mechanism to check compliance with the requirements using inspection, tests, audits and other approaches.

It also serves as a reference point for all employees who need to know what they have to do to meet their individual roles and responsibilities within the organization.

It also provides a framework for monitoring progress towards achieving the stated objectives.

The quality plan must also address customer expectations and methods to achieve customer satisfaction. Some complex products or projects might require a specific quality plan to be prepared for it.

Contents of a Quality Plan

Clause 6 of the ISO 10005:2018(en) - Quality management — Guidelines for quality plans provide recommendations on the contents of a quality plan. These are the sections recommended for a typical quality plan.

6.1 General
6.2 Scope of the quality plan
6.3 Quality plan inputs
6.4 Quality objectives
6.5 Quality plan responsibilities
6.6 Control of documented information
6.7 Resources
6.7.1 Provision of resources
6.7.2 Materials, products, and services
6.7.3 People
6.7.4 Infrastructure and environment for the operation of processes
6.7.5 Monitoring and measuring resources
6.8 Customers and other interested parties communication
6.9 Design and development
6.9.1 Design and development process
6.9.2 Control of design and development changes
6.10 Externally provided processes, products, and services
6.11 Production and service provision
6.12 Identification and traceability
6.13 Property belonging to customers or external providers
6.14 Preservation of outputs
6.15 Control of nonconforming outputs
6.16 Monitoring and measurement
6.17 Audits

Conclusion

A quality plan is an essential tool in any quality management program. The success of this program depends upon its effectiveness. An effective quality plan will help you identify areas where improvements can be made. It will also help you monitor progress towards attaining your organizational objectives.

To develop a good quality plan, you should first define your organizational objectives. Finally, you should ensure that the quality plan is properly implemented.