The quality control checklist is an assessment tool used for measuring the value of a product. This structured questionnaire facilitates the collection and analysis of the data necessary to determine strengths and weaknesses in work quality. There is no universal quality control checklist, but rather lists adapted to specific situations in a variety of fields. Even within a given organization, quality checklists can change and grow depending upon organizational needs and interests.
Manufacturing Factory Quality Control
Quality control checklists are a practical means of measuring production in a factory setting, allowing factory managers to inspect the productivity of their workers and to improve the factory's finished product. Such checklists typically record the rate of defective products and material waste as well as the time required for the completion of different tasks in an assembly line setting. Once the numbers are gathered, quality control personnel and line managers can then conduct further investigations regarding the causes and origins of product defects or low productivity. In factories, quality control checklists serve as a means of not only improving product quality, but also of saving money.
Vendor Auditing and Evaluation
Government agencies use checklists in the evaluation and auditing of vendors. School districts, for example, can use quality control assessments to review products before agreeing to deals with vendors and for performing regular evaluations of the quality of received products. For more general product evaluations, government agency personnel use quality control checklists to assess test versions of new products before they are introduced to the market. Vendor quality control checklists are also used to train entry-level government assessment staff and new members of review committees. Because each state agency maintains its own assessment strategy and test design format, quality control checklists can vary. Still, all checklists share the common goal of ensuring that presented products meet established quality standards.
Construction Quality Assessment
Construction is another industry where a quality checklist can play a valuable role. The checklist can be used throughout the construction process to establish, maintain and ensure a minimum quality building standard. Construction quality control checklists are typically divided into design, pre-drywall and final inspection stages. In the design stage of the quality control assessment, the focus is on providing a detailed and clear outline of the steps necessary to meet quality goals and to assess the adequacy of available construction drawings and plans. The checklist can be used to inform construction crews and developers of the steps that are necessary to reach quality standards and ensure that all groups involved have the same information about the work site. During the construction of a building, the site supervisor can use the checklist to ensure that work is proceeding as necessary. Finally, when a building is constructed and the quality control checklist has been completed, it serves as a record that all necessary safety and structure precautions have been met. When such structures undergo a thorough inspection, the quality control checklist once again serves as an evaluation tool.
Nina Dubois has been a published writer since 2004. She has written features for the global anti-poverty agency ActionAid International, Stanford University's "The Real News" and a host of other publications. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University where she majored in anthropology and political science.