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Is AQL the most effective Quality Control method?

AQL  (Acceptance Quality Level) is a widely adopted Quality Control standard. It is used to determine how many units should be inspected and how many defects are acceptable during the inspection.

The defects are usually divided into three categories:

  • Critical defects

Defects that make the product unsafe or hazardous to use.

  • Major defects

Defects that can lead to the product’s failure, reducing its usability or functionality.

  • Minor defects

Workmanship defects that affect only appearance of the product.

AQL standards should be discussed by the parties and included in the contract before making the order.

It must be noted, that AQL system was created in 1930s. Since then production technologies and legal regulations in many countries have changed significantly. Thus, AQL method has lost a lot of its effectiveness and may be considered outdated in the present day conditions. Nevertheless, it is still used by many quality control companies, especially in China.

We normally use AQL standard only to determine the percentage of items for inspection. We do not use this method to classify the products as high-quality or low-quality, and we don’t give our customers any recommendations, if they should accept or reject the goods.

Instead, we make detailed photos and videos of any discovered defect and send this data to the client via a telephone application during the course of inspection.

Thus, our customers can make their own decisions whether to accept or reject goods with such flaws on the spot, without having to wait for a written report with the inspection results.

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