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Relevance Of Quality Assurance (Qa) Systems To Civil And Environmental Engineering. Need, Benefits, Common Standards.

2052 words - 8 pages

Quality engineering is supposed to be responsible for determining and planning the work of the rest of the department. Quality engineers should collaborate with design engineering concerning a new product's performance characteristics and meet with manufacturing engineers concerning the way the product will be manufactured. In that way quality engineers can determine how the product should be inspected, tested, and controlled during its life both in and outside the company. Detailing these requirements, training people to accomplish them, and measuring results are what quality engineering is all about.Thus we shall take an interest in the relevance of Quality Assurance (QA) systems especially to civil and environmental engineering.First we shall define the need and what quality assurance can achieve, then analyse its benefits and look at how widely with which common standards it is used.Quality arises from a basic need namely the consumer's one that can be expressed or not. Therefore Philip B. Crosby wants to define quality as "conformance to requirements". Service providers especially need it, but also organisations which are often membership based. They need to make sure that what they do for their service users and for their membership is up to a good standard. Up to standard can mean many different things however, from meeting basic legal minimum standards to the standards expected by service users, to the standards that you are funded to achieve. But it must be remembered that product safety is not a legal problem, it is an ethical one. As an example relating to civil engineering the case study of the Water of Marseille Company's laboratory is significant. It sets about all the drinking, waste and industrial water analysis in Southern France. It advises on purification and water treatment. Even if "quality is free" as Crosby said, this company has a real duty with regard to quality; the health of more than a million persons depends on it. Moreover it takes part in plans working out for fight against accidental water resources pollution. And it contributes to these water resources management. Hence we are led to consider another major need: the continual improvement. In this case we have to avoid a shortage in this area where the population is always increasing, and remedy the future general lack of water.Now we are realizing that quality can be regarded as a watchword when we are considering such engineering. However it's not enough to demand quality, we have to make sure that we effectively get it too. It is quality assurance's area.At the same time it is important to clarify what quality assurance is. Quality Assurance (QA) is a way for an organisation to make sure that it always delivers the best it can to its service users, members, volunteers and funders. A QA system is a way of checking, through continuous monitoring and evaluation of performance and the collection of evidence, that the organisation is continuously improving what it...

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