The specific tasks that quality assurance (QA) representatives perform vary widely by theindustries in which they work. In general, QA representatives ensure that companies continue to operate successfully by scrutinizing the quality of the goods or services that companies provide. QA representatives use various methods to ensure quality depending on their industry. For example, in manufacturing companies, QA representatives are typically responsible for visually inspecting products, performing functionality tests, and using special, field-specific technology to monitor quality; QA representatives in chemical manufacturing, for an example, might use mass spectrometry to determine the purity of chemicals.
In different fields, QA representatives go by different titles, particularly when specific QA tasks are broken down and assigned to different representatives. For example, representatives might be called samplers, inspectors, sorters, testers, or weighing specialists. Sometimes the department is known as quality control, rather than quality assurance. No matter the breadth of QA representatives’ responsibilities, they typically work as a team with colleagues to ensure that standards are met. When QA representatives discover faulty or defective products, or services that are not up to specification, they must report their findings up the managerial chain. Most QA representatives in manufacturing move between office environments and factory floors during the work day.
Requirements for education and training vary according to the breadth of any particular QA representative role. In general, when QA is in place to ensure consumer safety in addition to aesthetic or functional considerations, the requirements are more stringent. In these cases, requirements typically include specialized vocational training. QA representative jobs that do not involve safety to the same degree might require only a high school diploma or equivalent and related work experience.
Quality Assurance (QA) Representative Tasks
- Identify and report on policy changes needed for quality control.
- Communicate quality guidelines effectively with coworkers and clients.
- Ensure quality standards are consistently met in products and associated processes.