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Quality assurance managers work with other staff to establish procedures and quality standards and to monitor these against agreed targets.

Shift and ‘on-call’ work may be required, particularly where manufacturing/production equipment is in continual 24-hour operation.

What does a quality assurance manager do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

The exact duties of a quality assurance manager vary from industry to industry. However, typical responsibilities of the job include:

  • determining, negotiating and agreeing on in-house quality procedures, standards and specifications
  • assessing customer requirements and ensuring that these are met
  • setting customer service standards
  • specifying quality requirements of raw materials with suppliers
  • investigating and setting standards for quality and health and safety
  • ensuring that manufacturing processes comply with standards at both national and international level
  • working with operating staff to establish procedures, standards, systems and procedures
  • writing management and technical reports and customers’ charters
  • determining training needs
  • acting as a catalyst for change and improvement in performance and quality
  • directing objectives to maximise profitability
  • recording, analysing and distributing statistical information
  • monitoring performance
  • supervising technical or laboratory staff.

Typical employers of quality assurance managers

  • Manufacturing companies
  • Engineering companies
  • Automotive companies
  • Textile companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Processing companies
  • Banks
  • Universities
  • Government departments

Opportunities are advertised online, by careers services, in newspapers and trade publications such as Quality World and vacancy lists produced by the Chartered Quality Institute. Some larger employers operate graduate training schemes; early applications for these are advisable.

Qualifications and training required

A degree or higher national diploma (HND) in any subject is acceptable for entry into the profession. However, employers prefer qualifications in subjects such as business studies/management, materials science/technology, food science/technology, textile technology, polymer science/technology, process engineering, production engineering, physics or mathematics.

For some positions, a postgraduate qualification or a technical degree background is necessary. You can read our article on engineering postgraduate study to explore your options.

Relevant work experience is highly desirable and may be gained via final-year project work, work shadowing, degree sponsorship, vacation work or industrial placements. Take a look at our list of engineering employers who offer industrial placements and summer internships.

Membership with the Chartered Quality Institute (CQI) can help to show your commitment to your field and will provide opportunities for continuing professional development (CPD), as well as networking events.

Key skills for quality assurance managers

  • Confidence
  • Excellent technical skills
  • Good numerical skills and an understanding of statistics
  • Leadership skills
  • Planning and organisation skills
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Teamworking skills
  • IT skills

Read our article on the skills engineering employers look for for more information and then find out how you can prove you possess these competencies at engineering assessment centres.

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This content has been written or sourced by AGCAS, the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, and edited by TARGETjobs as part of a content partnership. AGCAS provides impartial information and guidance resources for higher education student career development and graduate employment professionals.

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