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Quality Assurance

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Quality assurance (QA) is the activity of providing evidence needed to establish confidence among all concerned, that quality-related activities are being performed effectively. All those planned or systematic actions necessary to provide adequate confidence that a product or service will satisfy given requirements for quality.

For products, quality assurance is a part and consistent pair of quality management proving fact-based external confidence to customers and other stakeholders that a product meets needs, expectations, and other requirements. QA assures the existence and effectiveness of procedures that attempt to make sure - in advance - that the expected levels of quality will be reached.

QA covers all activities from design, development, production, installation, servicing to documentation. It introduced the sayings "fit for purpose" and "do it right the first time". It includes the regulation of the quality of raw materials, assemblies, products and components; services related to production; and management, production, and inspection processes.

The term Quality Assurance, as used in the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulation 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, comprises all those planned and systematic actions necessary to provide adequate confidence that a structure, system, or component will perform satisfactorily in service. Quality assurance includes quality control, which comprises those quality assurance actions related to the physical characteristics of a material, structure, component, or system which provide a means to control the quality of the material, structure, component, or system to predetermined requirements.

One of the most widely used paradigms for QA management is the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) approach, also known as the Shewhart cycle.

QUALITY ASSURANCE - The practice of checking hardware, software, or systems for defects, identifying such defects, and then checking to make sure that such defects are corrected when future revisions of software or hardware are ready for testing. QA workers typically work closely with the people who develop hardware and software, and often program exhaustive scripts to automate checking and identify problems. Steps taken to make sure that a company's products or services are of sufficiently high quality.

quality assurance (QA):

1. All actions taken to ensure that standards and procedures are adhered to and that delivered products or services meet performance requirements. (188)

2. The planned systematic activities necessary to ensure that a component, module, or system conforms to established technical requirements.

3. The policy, procedures, and systematic actions established in an enterprise for the purpose of providing and maintaining a specified degree of confidence in data integrity and accuracy throughout the lifecycle of the data, which includes input, update, manipulation, and output.

Best Practice is a management idea which asserts that there is a technique, method, process, activity, incentive or reward that is more effective at delivering a particular outcome than any other technique, method, process, etc. The idea is that with proper processes, checks, and testing, a desired outcome can be delivered with fewer problems and unforeseen complications. Best practices can also be defined as the most efficient (least amount of effort) and effective (best results) way of accomplishing a task, based on repeatable procedures that have proven themselves over time for large numbers of people.

Statistical control

Many organizations use statistical process control to bring the organization to Six Sigma levels of quality, in other words, so that the likelihood of an unexpected failure is confined to six standard deviations on the normal distribution. This probability is less than four one-millionths. Items controlled often include clerical tasks such as order-entry as well as conventional manufacturing tasks.

Traditional statistical process controls in manufacturing operations usually proceed by randomly sampling and testing a fraction of the output. Variances of critical tolerances are continuously tracked, and manufacturing processes are corrected before bad parts can be produced.

QA encompasses all measures taken to ensure the reliability of investigations, starting from test selection, through obtaining a satisfactory sample, analysing it and recording the result promptly and correctly, to appropriate interpretation and reporting, with all procedures being documented for reference.

ISO 17025

ISO 17025 is an international standard that specifies the general requirements for the competence



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