Quality assurance refers to the complete set of systems directed at meeting designated customer service standards. These systems include the following:
- Establishing the requirements that are considered necessary to deliver high quality to the customer
- Certifying the performance of suppliers with a rating system
- Testing received goods and materials to ensure that they comply with quality standards
- Ensuring that goods and materials are stored properly to avoid damage
- Verifying the ongoing quality of internal processes, with a feedback loop to correct any issues found
- Examining system output to ensure that quality standards are met
Quality assurance tends to focus on the prevention of quality issues early in the process, rather than merely trying to detect quality problems at the point when goods and services are about to be delivered to the customer.