Quality Assurance (QA) is a monitoring approach that evaluates various aspects of an acquisition project, or service to determine if the minimum standards of quality are being attained by the production process. QA includes regulation of the quality of raw materials, assemblies, products and components, services related to production, and management, production and inspection processes. The International Organization for Standards (ISO) defines QA as a part of Quality Management focused on providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled.
The two (2) principles included in QA are:
- “Fit for purpose” – the product should be suitable for the intended purpose
- “Right first time” – mistakes should be eliminated
Quality is determined by the product users, clients or customers. It’s not the same as ‘expensive’ or ‘high quality’. Low priced products can be considered as having high quality if the product users determine them as such. 
One of the quality assurance activities is surveillance. Surveillance is an on-going verification that a contractor’s quality system meets contract quality requirements and produces quality products. In accordance with Program Management Office and buying activity requirements, the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) field activity surveillance:
- Identifies critical processes
- Develops and maintains a written risk-based surveillance plan
- Performs necessary surveillance
- Performs data analysis
Government Contract Quality Assurance (GCQA) determines if contractual requirements have been met prior to acceptance of supplies and services by Quality Audits. GCQA is conducted by the program manager and DCMA as identified in contract administration delegations to DCMA by the Contracting Officer.
- QA cannot absolutely guarantee the production of quality products.
- The Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) is responsible for contract quality assurance along with the program office
AcqLinks and References:
- Defense Acquisition Guidebook (DAG) – Chapter 11
- Website: FAR Part 46 “Quality Assurance”
-  Website: Wikipedia – Quality Assurance