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Quality Management System, Quality Audit and Quality Tools

Cinoy Ravindran

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What is quality?

The word “quality” means different things to different people. The Oxford English Dictionary defines “quality”: as degree of excellence, relative nature… In a linguistic sense, quality originated from the Latin word qualis, which means such as the thing really is. In a business world quality is understood: as meeting the customer expectations. EOQC (European Organization for Quality Control) have defined quality as the degree to which a product meets the requirements of the customer. For manufactured products, quality means a composition of design, manufacture, inspection, control and assurance. ISO 8402 defines Quality as that which relates to the evaluation of a product or service to its ability to satisfy a given need. So Quality is:

  • Satisfying Customer Expectations
  • Understanding their present needs
  • Evaluating their future requirements

Hence, TQM is a continuous process, and not a one-time program. The importance of quality Quality is not negotiable Quality is all-pervasive Quality increases productivity Quality leads to better performance in the market place Quality means improved business performance


Quality Audit is one of the key management tools for achieving the organization’s stated quality policy and objectives. ISO 8402 defines Quality Audit as “A systematic and independent examination to determine whether quality activities and related results comply with planned arrangements and whether the arrangements are implementer effectively and are suitable to achieve objectives.

Audit Objectives:

  • To determine the conformity or non-conformity of the quality system elements with specified requirement of the quality system standards.
  • To determine the effectiveness of the implemented quality system in meeting specified quality objective.
  • To provide an opportunity to improve the quality system
  • To meet regulatory requirements
  • To permit the listing of the name of the audited organization in the register.
  • To evaluate an organization’s own quality system against a quality system standard.

The Process of Auditing

  • Audit Initiation
  • Audit Preparation
  • Audit Execution
  • Audit Report


There are seven basic tools used for understanding and estimating process variations and also for troubleshooting. They are:

  • Check sheet
  • Cause and effect diagram
  • Pareto analysis
  • Stratification
  • Histogram
  • Graphs and Control charts
  • Scatter Diagram & Regression Analysis

A brief introduction and definitions on quality management systems importance of quality, quality audits, audit objective, process of auditing & quality control tools.

Cinoy Ravindran is a Computing Engineer, specializing in solution/ concept selling in Information Technology, Wealth Management, as well as Stress Management.

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