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Quality Management Tools - Quality Systems Assessments

Assessments add value to a quality system by promoting and supporting continuous improvement. EPA's quality system, in conformance with national consensus standards, requires that each organization assess the effectiveness of its quality systems' implementation. Although organizations are expected to assess themselves, they may also need to assess or be assessed by others in EPA's quality system whose environmental data operations are linked by funding. EPA's Quality Staff also performs assessments of EPA organization's Quality Systems on a 3-year cycle.

A Quality System Audit is used to verify, by examination and evaluations of objective evidence, that applicable elements of the quality system are appropriate and have been developed, documented, and effectively implemented in accordance and in conjunction with specified specifications. The focus of these assessments is on the quality system process not on evaluating the quality of specific products -- not judging the quality of environmental data or the performance of personnel or programs. Where quality systems are being developed or not fully implemented, a less rigorous Management Systems Review may be applied instead of a Quality System Audit.

For directions on accessing the references and training listed below, see Information About Downloadable Files.



Examples and Other On-line Resources


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