- What roles does a QA manager have?
A quality assurance, or QA, manager aims to ensure that the product or service an organisation provides is fit for its purpose and meets customer expectations. The QA manager co-ordinates the activities required to meet this aim.
The QA manager monitors and advises on how the quality management system is performing and publishes data and reports regarding company performance against set indicators. QA managers also liaise with managers and staff throughout the organisation to ensure that the QA system is functioning properly. Where appropriate, the QA manager advises on changes and their implementation and provides training, tools and techniques to enable others to achieve quality.
Since maintaining quality demands constant change to meet customer expectations, QA managers employ a variety of measures to place quality at the heart of an organisation. These include management systems such as ISO 9000, philosophies such as total quality management, and methodologies such as continuous improvement.
The work of the QA manager varies with the organisation but is likely to include some or all of the following activities:
- Working with purchasing staff to establish quality requirements from external suppliers.
- Considering the application of environmental and health/safety standards.
- Agreeing standards and establishing clearly defined quality methods for staff to apply.
- Identifying relevant quality-related training needs.
- Collating and analysing performance data and charts against defined parameters.
- Ensuring tests and procedures are properly understood, carried out and evaluated and that product modifications are investigated if necessary.
- Supervising technical staff in carrying out tests and checks.
- Bringing together staff of different disciplines and driving the group to plan, formulate and agree comprehensive quality procedures.
- Persuading reluctant staff to change their way of working to incorporate quality methods.
- Establishing standards of service for customers or clients.
- Preparing clear explanatory documents such as customers' charters.
- Monitoring performance through gathering relevant data and producing statistical reports.
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