Quality Assurance Program - Definition

Pancho

wikineer
Super Moderator
#1
We have a new contract where we are required to submit a document titled "Quality Assurance Program" in addition to a "Quality Plan".

We regularly submit Quality Plans to our clients. "Quality Plan" is defined in ISO 10005:2005 paragraph 3.8, and we prepare these plans following that standard.

Looking through definitions in ISO 9000 or ISO 10005, I cannot find any mention of "Quality Assurance Program". "Program" is only mentioned as part of "Audit Programme". Neither of these standards defines the term "Quality Assurance Program".

And searching through the Cove, I find Implementing a Quality Assurance Program, and How to Implement a Quality Assurance Program. Both those threads seem to treat the term as a synonym for "Quality Management System". I doubt that our client is looking for a copy of our QMS.

We intend to ask our client for clarification of their requirement, but to cover all bases before we do: Is there a commonly accepted definition for a Quality Assurance Program? If so, would someone kindly point to a reference for it?
 

Marc

Captain Nice
Staff member
Admin
#3
I did some searches and it appears to me that a QA "Program" is the same as a Quality Management "System", just using different words. Reading articles about each I don't see any distinction between the two.

E.g.: How to Build a Quality Assurance Program

EDIT Add: After reading through a few of the articles I have found, I'm somewhat underwhelmed. It's the same stuff that has been written for years.

I have noticed that in articles written about "QA Programs" there is no mention of QMS and vice versa, so that reinforces my opinion of same thing, different words.

Thinking about it a bit, in the 1980's I wrote a number of what were called QAP's (Quality Assurance Programs) or QAPP's (Quality Assurance Program Plan). Each was product specific, though, but they, of course, drew from (were a subset of) elements of what we called the company quality system.
 
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Marc

Captain Nice
Staff member
Admin
#6

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#7
Pancho.

Evidently an old school client woefully out of date.

Show then your wiki-based management system and they should be suitably impressed.

Good luck.

John
 

Al Rosen

Staff member
Super Moderator
#8
The Quality Program is the Quality System Manual. What I've done for a program specific quality plan is follow the customer's requirements (usually specified in a Statement of Work) and state how i will meet them referencing my Quality System Manual and procedures. Depending on the customer and complexity of the program I might clone the procedures (when the customer's requirements are different then my SOP) and reference the cloned procedure in the program's Quality Plan. . I've done this for Space Programs.
 

Pancho

wikineer
Super Moderator
#9
Thanks to everyone for your insights. Seems that both old MIL standards and this distinguished group of experts agree that the meaning of "Quality Assurance Program" is close to that of "Quality Manual", even if QAP is an obsolete term.

Funny how "Quality Manual" is also now gone from the current ISO 9001:2015. At least its passing is only recent. I like that document. It was central to the 2008 standard, containing "(a) the scope of the QMS..., (b) [reference to] the documented procedures [in the QMS], and (c) description of interaction of processes...".

We have a kickoff meeting soon with our client. I intend to bring our Quality Manual with me, in lieu of the Quality Assurance Program. And I will update here if they had any other ideas for the QAP document they want.
 

Pancho

wikineer
Super Moderator
#10
Well, we had a KO meeting with the client, and they explained that their meaning for a "Quality Assurance Program" is "like the Quality Plan, but not generic. We want it tailored to our project."

We had both our QM and our QP for the project. Showed both. They did not care for the QM. As for the QP, they said that it was fine and could cover both document requirements. "Okay!" we said as we checked both boxes.
 

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