Quality Assurance (QA)

Quality Assurance and Safety Assurance are complementary and share similar tools. QA is focused on compliance under prescriptive regulation, policy/rules and other requirements to meet Customer expectations and contractual obligations; while Safety Assurance is focused on Safety Performance. The primary objective of any SMS is to identify safety-related hazards, assess the associated risk and implement effective risk controls. In contrast, a QA focuses on the consistent delivery of products and services that meet relevant specifications. Nonetheless, both Quality Assurance and Safety Assurance must:

  1. Be planned and managed;
  2. Depend upon measurement and monitoring of performance indicators;
  3. Involve all organizational functions related to the delivery of aviation products and services; and,
  4. Strive for continuous improvement.

Quality Assurance Plan (QAP)

Applicable for:

Airports, Aerodromes & Heliports, Fixed & Rotary Wing Operations, Manufacturing, AMOs.

(For Airports, Aerodromes and Heliports - Download Brochure 0000-7)

Quality Audit - Remote Audit (COVID-19) Protocol

Applicable for:

Airports, Aerodromes & Heliports, Fixed & Rotary Wing Operations, Manufacturing, AMOs.

Remote Quality Audit (RQA):

The year 2020 fell far short of the 'Vision Statement' most Aviation Organisations anticipated. The stark reality is the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the industry in ways previously unimaginable before the outbreak. Enterprises are responding as best they can - but let there be no mistake - these are difficult times which will continue to be so for several years, without any clear contingency plan to fall back on. Survival therefore, depends on carefully planed and implemented strategies. The COVID effect on the aviation industry has been compared (to tedium) with the 'great extension' and the demise of the dinosaur! Nevertheless, in keeping with the above analogy, adapting to the current situation is not only paramount to survival but it can - if pursued with a strong desire to change - present opportunities, equally unimaginable before the outbreak!

In response to the current world crises ("the aviation crisis"), QualaTech has launched an unorthodox 'Audit' solution "The Remote Audit", which not only provides essentially the same level of 'assurance' captured in a more 'conventional' Audit process but is able to accomplish the 'Audit Scope' with a significant cost savings for the Auditee while providing the same or even greater degree of accuracy. Nevertheless, the Remote Audit is a temporary 'stopgap' to enable Organisations to continue providing assurance to Senior Management, The Regulator and Clients alike, that the Organisation remains in compliance to approved Control Documents (CD). Naturally a big consideration is risk mitigation of COVID-19.

The Remote Audit employs many of the same protocols, processes and tools utilized by the traditional Audit; nevertheless, although it might be assumed these processes are weakened, the nature of The Remote Audit medium can actually enhance the process and experience, making the data (evidence) more robust, accurately recorded and consistently captured, the consequence of which is 'enhanced assurance' i.e. reliable formal proof/evidence.

A recognized primary function of a Quality Assurance Program (QAP) 'is to prove compliance' to Regulation and/or Policy etc., with the added advantage of reducing/limiting liability. During a Remote Audit, all data is formally transferred and thereafter 100% reviewed and validated for accuracy and omission, with records held on file to substantiate the entire audit process.

There are clearly many incentives underlying the 'Remote Audit' methodology but two vital reasons are:

  1. COVID-19 Risk Mitigation. The 'Best Practice' is always - when possible - to eliminate the primary 'hazard'. Conducting a traditional on-site Audit exposes both the Auditee and the Auditor to a 'high risk probability' of contamination; something the Remote Audit mitigates completely.
  2. Financial Consideration. The cost of conducting a 3rd Party Audit continues to increase annually with diminishing return. As a consequence - deliberate or even unintentional - pressure is unarguable placed on the Auditor to accomplish 'more with fewer resources', resulting in reduced Audit reliability. A substantial savings is achieved by the elimination of travel and other expenses against the overall Audit price. Furthermore, given the economic effect COVID has imposed on aviation, the above strategy is a significant advantage to Organisations searching for practical expenditure reduction.

Please note: A similar 'Remote' process is likewise available to facilitate the Safety Management System Assessment (SMSA).

Quality Audit - On-site (Conventional) Protocol

Applicable for:

Airports, Aerodromes & Heliports, Fixed & Rotary Wing Operations, Manufacturing, AMOs.

Quality Audit:

  • 1st. Party Audit
  • 2nd. Party Audit
  • 3rd. Party Audit

QualaTech is a proven aviation Auditing Organisation, specialising in Airports / Aerodromes / Heliports, Fixed & Rotary Wing Operations, Manufacturing and Aircraft Maintenance Organisations.

QualaTech is routinely engaged to Audit assorted Organisations as an independent 3rd Party, performing First and Second Party Audits. QualaTech has performed innumerable Audits for various major Organisations such as, BC EHS, BC Hydro and CGG, against Certificate Holders trying to achieve higher compliance levels to established Standards and/or Contract requirements.

“Bad Auditors try to impress, good Auditors coach, encourage and mentor”

QualaTech has effectively been providing Quality ‘Product’, ‘Process’ and ‘System’ Audits for assorted aviation Organisations for over 21 years. Our Auditors are Transport Canada trained and/or possess additional qualification, such as that administered by the ISO. The quantity of Quality Compliance Audits undertaken in Canada and internationally by QualaTech, are too numerous to list. Nevertheless, aside from providing comprehensive Audit Services, QualaTech has also administered numerous dedicated ‘Quality Auditor’ and ‘Quality Assurance’ training courses for various Certificate Type Holders.

Quality Management and Safety Management are highly complementary, working closely together to achieve overall Customer satisfaction, while maintaining and improving safety goals. Safety Management is ‘what we do’; Quality Management is ‘how we do it properly’. A Quality Management System (QMS) cannot conflict with a Safety Management System (SMS), and although similar functions and processes are employed, the end result is distinct and separate. For example, although you can have a quality product or service, as defined by Regulation, an ISO Standard or other, an Organisation can nevertheless, still fail to have a safe product and/or service! It is often incorrectly assumed that processes designed to produce a quality product and/or service - repeatedly performing a function without variation - equates to systematically producing a safe product and/or service; which is not only incorrect but a very perilous assumption to make.

In general terms, auditing is the on-site verification activity, such as the inspection or examination of a process or Quality System, to ensure compliance to a Standard or specific requirement. An Audit can apply to an entire Organization, or to a single explicit function, process, or even a single production step. QualaTech provides complete pre-to-post Audit Service activities - inclusive of Auditor Training - with special attention to the final Audit Report to ensure it is both accurate and discernible.

An effective QMS forms the foundation of sustained excellence within a business, where obtainable results must be balanced toward the achievement of both short and long-term Quality goals. Measurable successes of a Quality Assurance Plan (QAP) may include, but is not limited to, Customer value added performance, leading-edge governance, people empowerment within the Organization, lasting partnerships, peer recognition and a responsible contribution toward a sustainable future. Quality is not about just meeting minimum regulatory requirements (although this might have to be considered as a starting point), it is really about competitive performance differentiators; which is also the foundation upon which a sustainable and successful SMS is built and maintained. QualaTech’s proven track record in Auditing both non and complex Organisations, of various and/or multiple Certificate Types, is well documented.

There are three different types of Audit types which may be employed to achieve the Audit purpose:

First Party Audit: (Internal Audit) is a mechanism by which an Organisation monitors adherence to its documented quality system. It carries little weight externally, except as confirmation that the QMS is operating correctly. Its chief benefit is to the Organisation. A First Party Audit provides ‘objective data’ used to highlight the potential for improvement as a basis on which to plan improvements.

Second Party Audit: Usually performed by a Customer, or a representative of the Customer, when the Customer needs to establish confidence in the process contributing to a particular product or service. Exemplī grātiā. In, ABC Airport would provide an Audit to a fuel supplier or other service provider.

Third Party Audit: Performed by agencies, independent of both Customer and supplier (i.e. Transport Canada, ISO, Argus, Wyvern, etc.), recognised as component to assess QMS against a specific Standard. In recognition of meeting the requirements of a Standard, the supplier will achieve certification to the Standard. Certification has the benefit of reducing, if not eliminating (in some cases) the need to perform a Second Party Audit.

Quality Systems do not investigate incidents or accidents or undertake Risk Assessment. QMS processes Audit the ‘output of a process’ for variance only. A SMS will however, investigate events but focuses more on the contributing factors from all influencing sources.

(Details provided on request)

(Note: Auditing is complex and must be carefully defined under an 'Audit Scope' prior to commencement)

Audit Check Sheets

Applicable for:

Airports, Aerodromes & Heliports, Fixed & Rotary Wing Operations, Manufacturing, AMOs.

  1. Critique existing Audit Check Sheets for Compliance & Applicability
  2. Build Audit Check Sheets to Applicable Control Document

(Details provided on request)

Please note: Brochures may not have been developed for all Services and/or are in the development stage. In the event you require more information on a topic listed here or are in need of a Service not listed, please contact QualaTech for additional information. Thank you.

Corrective Action Plan (CAP)

Applicable for:

Airports, Aerodromes & Heliports, Fixed & Rotary Wing Operations, Manufacturing, AMOs.

  • 1st. Party Audit
  • 2nd. Party Audit
  • 3rd. Party Audit

Albert Einstein once said:

We can’t solve problems by using the kind of thinking we used when we created them”.

When it comes to creating effective Corrective Action Plans (CAP) a truer words have never never been spoken. Nevertheless, implementing a new solution, isn't a guarantee of success either; careful planing and vigilance must be performed before, during and after any new implementation. Furthermore, adding a 'solution' may also introduce latent factors, which when combined with existing systems, initiate new problems that were not previously considered. Therefore, it is highly beneficial during the design stages of a CAP to obtain a completely different prospective, one that is capable of considering all areas without bias within a nonpartisan formal environment in order to prevent error and failure of the new system/solution.

As James Reason identified: “Error is intimately bound up with the notion of intention. The term ‘error’ can only be meaningfully applied to planned actions that fail to achieve their desired consequences without the intervention of some chance or unforeseeable agency. Two basic error types were identified: slips (and lapses), where the actions do not go according to plan, and mistakes, where the plan itself is inadequate to achieve its objectives.”

As will be understood, correctly identifying and subsequently implementing a truly effective CAP is paramount to long term success, safety and business strategies. To achieve this, a rigorous 'Root Cause Analysis' (in most cases) should be performed, followed by a Risk Assessment (as required) on the new solution(s) to prevent recurrence of the initial event along with future issues.

For more information, and to answer any questions you may have, please contact QualaTech directly.