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How to Become a Quality Assurance Consultant

If you're looking for a career that carries responsibility, pays well, and provides opportunities to travel, you should think about becoming a Quality Assurance Consultant.

This is a great career choice for analytical thinkers, who thrive on systems and challenges. It also offers the opportunity to work for major organisations, or to go out on your own.

Before getting into the job itself, it's helpful to fully understand what defines quality assurance, and quality control, and what Quality Assurance Management Systems are all about.

Quality Assurance Management Systems

Whilst both focus on quality, there is a marked difference between Quality Control (QC) and Quality Assurance (QA). To be truly successful, an organisation needs both, although QA is probably the most important.

The basic difference is this: Quality Assurance is all about preventing faults and defects in your products, as well as ensuring on-time delivery and best customer service.

Quality Assurance is covered by the International Standard ISO 9000, which describes the process as: "providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled".

Quality control, on the other hand, is about checking the finished product for quality, and making amends - through replacement or refund - is it does not meet the standard.

Role Of The Quality Assurance Consultant

It is the role of the Quality Assurance Consultant to ensure products meet the criteria of the ISO 9000 family of standards.

They provide objective, independent advice to businesses on the level of quality reached, and ways of improving the quality of those goods and services. 

Quality Assurance Consultants are employed by the businesses themselves, or by certification organisations. In other words, they help their own organisation implement and maintain a quality management system, or they become accredited to the International Organization for Standardization.

Career Choice With Variety

One of the reasons the role of Quality Assurance Consultant is becoming more popular, is the great variety it offers. Quality Assurance Consultants work across a wide variety of industries, in countries all around the world.
Very often, the area chosen to specialise in reflects the individual's background. In fact, that is one of the first points to consider if you are planning to become a Quality Assurance Consultant.

For example, if you previously worked in the motor industry, that might be the industry to choose. Or perhaps your background was in hospitality, or healthcare. The point is, these are areas you have knowledge of, and experience in.

This former experience and knowledge can also help you achieve your qualifications quicker.

Excellent Analytical Skills

You will also need to demonstrate excellent analytical and communications skills, and understand project management and training needs.

Having identified your niche industry, you need to start working towards your goal, through further training and qualifications.

The great thing is that there is an increasing push for better quality, so there will be more job opportunities in this area moving forward.

In recent years, Australian businesses have become far more focused on quality assurance, with an increasing number Quality Assurance Management Systems.
Choosing A Training Provider

In that respect, when choosing a training provider, it's advisable to choose a company that also specialises in implementing ISO management systems. Not only will this organisation have an in-depth knowledge of the latest Standards revisions, but they also fully understand how those Standards affect businesses.

There are several companies around providing this type of training but  the best advice is to choose one that is Exemplar Global accredited, with the courses run by professional, accredited auditors.

Hands-On Experience

As you start to get those qualifications under your belt, you will need to also start accumulating some hands-on experience. This is generally the point where you decide whether to work in the industry itself, or for an accreditation organisation.

As you gain more experience, you have other decisions to make, To you stay working for someone else, or do you go out on your own as a Quality Assurance Consultant? If you remain working for an actual organisation, you may wish to increase your qualifications, in order to become Quality Control manager.

Ongoing Monitoring And Improvement

What is consistent throughout all these scenarios is the need for improved quality assurance and control. And it's not something you simply put in place and leave.

For true quality assurance, you need to ensure systems are continually and consistently monitored and improved. The demand for quality can only increase, as customers expect to get 'what they paid for'. And that's well-made, fairly priced, safe products, that do the job they are designed for.

Quality assurance is also crucial for any business wanting to contract to a major organisation. These big corporations must protect their own quality assurance systems, by only working with contractors and suppliers who do the same.

Still keen to pursue a career in quality assurance? Then it's time to make that move.
The next round of quality assurance training courses will start soon, and booking yourself in is the first step towards a brilliant new career.

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