This article is under review following the introduction of IR-OPS and changes of terminology and procedures consequent on that. References to IR-OPS are given below under Further Reading.
Quality assurance (QA) is the activity of providing, through an audit process, the evidence needed to establish that all activity is being conducted in accordance with the applicable requirements, standards and procedures. It should be carried out by a unit which is fully independent of the executive management who have responsibility for delivering the function being assessed. There should be appropriate means to ensure that response to findings is monitored and documented.
Quality Assurance in Aircraft Operations
According to ICAO Annex 6, Part I "Operation of Aircraft" aircraft maintenance organisations shall ensure good maintenance procedures and practices meeting the regulatory requirements by establishing an independent quality assurance system to monitor compliance with and adequacy of the procedures, or by providing a system of inspection to ensure that all maintenance is properly performed.
In the airline industry, implementation and operation of a quality assurance programme is usually the prime responsibility of a Quality Manager.
Quality Assurance in ANS provision
In Europe, according to the Regulation (EU) No 1035/2011 laying down common requirements for the provision of air navigation services (ANS), all ANS providers shall set up a quality assurance programme that contains procedures designed to verify that all operations are being conducted in accordance with applicable requirements, standards and procedures. The quality assurance programme shall be established in the context of the implementation of a quality management system.