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Quality assurance managers play a significant role in ensuring that the foods we eat, the clothes we wear, the prescription drugs we consume and just about all products we use are safe and meet acceptable standards. Through careful review of raw materials, the assembly process and final products, quality assurance managers help companies adhere to state and federal quality standards, as well as those set by the company itself. In hiring an assurance manager, most employers require candidates to have at least a bachelor’s degree and experience.
Ensure Product Compliance
Quality assurance managers inspect goods to ensure that they comply with the company’s quality standards, as well as any government requirements. The manager's checklist will include parameters to check such as reliability, packaging quality and efficiency. For example, when reviewing a lotion in the cosmetics industry, a quality assurance manager reviews it for smell, weight and texture, and he uses results from laboratory tests to confirm that it has the right thickness and is not harsh to the skin.
To achieve consistency, a company must ensure that employees are responsible for managing quality standards on the production lines through adequate training. A quality assurance manager designs and schedules training programs, as well as refresher courses. In a company that manufactures drinks, for instance, quality assurance managers teach employees to wear gloves and hairnets to avoid contamination, as well as to clean mixing drums after every batch. If a company is seeking accreditation to a standard or a mark of quality, it is the quality assurance manager’s responsibility to train and prepare employees for an audit process.
Product Development and Improvement
A customer-based focus and problem-solving skills leading to a continuous improvement of goods and services are crucial aspects of quality management. Quality assurance managers work with laboratory technicians and the research team to design and improve products. They provide significant information about what form the final goods should take. For example, in a parts-manufacturing company, parameters of importance include shape, durability, weight and appearance. Using records of items that customers rejected in the past, managers study defects and instruct the processing team to pull certain products from the production line or adjust relevant specifications. They also oversee the installation of defect-tracking mechanisms such as an alarm if a part exceeds the weight limit.
Monitoring Processes and Material
Quality assurance managers document a company’s quality standards based on nationally recognized levels. Using the set quality standards and individual judgment, they monitor processes and goods at every stage to ensure they remain in an acceptable state. For example, in the dairy industry, a quality assurance manager checks that milk is of the right color and smell before the production team can go ahead to make cheese, butter and other end products. He then picks different products from the production line randomly to check for packaging and the expiration date.
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- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Quality Assurance: Importance Of Systems And Standard Operating Procedures
- Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations: The Importance Of Quality Assurance
- ONet Online: Quality Control Systems Managers
- California State University: Bachelor of Science Quality Assurance
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