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The Dynamics of Accreditation and Quality Assurance

By Clark Adams Subscribe to RSS | February 20th 2012 | Views:
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One of the things most companies seek to improve their image is accreditation. Although it is not required to all types of business, it has been considered as a norm that must be followed by larger institutions such as schools, healthcare units, and other establishments such as museums. Take note that accreditation is not as simple as a one-time opportunity and may not even be achieved overnight. Accreditation is a process that needs a process-driven approach called quality assurance.

Quality assurance involves specific steps that will help an organization achieve their goals. These steps depend on the nature of the organization and the type of accreditation that needs to be achieved. In most cases, an organization can use a tool such as the Stewart Cycle that involves four general steps: plan, do, check, and act.

Plan

The very first step in determining quality assurance is planning, which involves establishment of objectives and goals. Organizations don’t just literally check their products and services right away. Before they execute any quality assurance step, they have to consider factors such as closer observation of the materials used in production and develop a process required to deliver the desired result.

Do

This is the execution of everything that was planned or simply process implementation. In most cases, this step involves distribution of instructions that must be carried out for a certain period. Some organizations may interpret this step as experimentation that allows them to control variables, others consider it as an actual, real time step.

Check

When it comes to Accreditation and Quality Assurance, checking seems to be a universal step. It involves gathering information from employees, soliciting suggestions from stake holders, and collecting clientele feedback to measure performance. Some of the quality performance measures include number of customer complaints, time to identify and solve problems, number of audits performed, cost of repairs, number of manufacturing interruptions, and others. Through checking, the business will determine if customer needs are being satisfied by the products or services that they offer.

Act

If errors were found during checking, acting could mean revision in the process. In Accreditation and Quality Assurance, acting entails deciding what must be done the next time the company designs a new product, attend a meeting, offers a new service, and others. If the experiment yields desirable results, this step may also involve implementation on a larger scale.

Accreditation and Quality Assurance are two dynamic aspects when it comes to product and service excellence in various types of industries. Quality assurance may be observed even without accreditation. However, without quality assurance, accreditation is less likely to be achieved by an organization.

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