The advantages of a formal qualtiy assurance (QA) system for research is that expertise is retained through the project documentation and continuously evolving documented processes. Systematic methods of defining, planning, documenting and recording work offer great benefits in improving the quality and efficiency of research.
The EERC has been operating a paper based QA system since 1990 which is compliant with various British standards, including BS5750 and BS5781. This has been used successfully on commercial tests and experimental research projects.
The project objectives are:
The project applies the philosophy of the latest standards contained in ISO9001:2000 (quality management systems) to refocus the QA system to be process based rather than procedure based. A process in this context means "a set of interrelated or interacting activities which transforms inputs into outputs"
A process may be an organisational process such as "how is the quality library improved?" or a process directly relating to some testing work such as "how should I initiate a commercial testing project?". Procedures operate at a lower level and define the sequence of steps to complete a task.
An electronic version of the QA system makes the documented processes and procedures more accessible and allows the effective distribution of new versions of documents which is integral to the continuous improvement required in a QA system.
An initial version of the electronic QA system is available online, however note that access to most information requires a user id and password.
|Title:||Electronic Quality Assurance System|
|Duration:||July 2002-March 2004|
|Funded by:||This project is being funded by the European Union under the CASCADE project (cooperative advancements in seismic and dynamic experiments).|