Quality control specialists most commonly work for manufacturing facilities, although quality control specialists can be found in nearly every industry. Quality control specialists ensure that the department or process they work with meets minimum quality standards. Processes vary, depending on the specific process involved. All quality control processes share some common functions.
The most basic function of quality control involves testing. Quality control specialists test the manufacturing process at the beginning, middle and end to ensure that the production quality remains the same throughout. If the specialist discovers an issue at any point in the process, she works with the production team to remedy the issue. Quality control specialists perform quality control tests for services provided as well, evaluating the quality of a specific service at specified intervals throughout the time of service. Testing provides quality results as of the date of testing.
Monitoring consists of ongoing testing that the quality control specialist performs on a regular basis. The specialist repeats the testing and records the results of each test. After the specialist has performed several tests, he reviews the results and looks for any trends in quality. If the quality declines, he increases the amount of testing performed in that area. If the quality maintains or improves, he decreases the amount of testing performed in that area. The quality control specialist continues to monitor the trending of the results.
Quality control specialists also spend time auditing the quality of a process which the specialist doesn’t work with. The quality control specialist may be auditing the work of the regular quality control work performed or auditing the quality of a process without any current quality control work. When performing the audit, the quality control specialist reviews the results reported by the regular quality control workers to determine if they performed the original tests correctly.
Periodically, the quality control specialist reports the quality results to management. A high number of quality problems mean something is wrong with the process and there may be many unhappy customers for the company. Management reviews the number of quality problems and where they occur in the process and take action to address the issue.