Deutsch: Kennzeichner / Español: Identificador / Português: Identificador / Français: Identifiant / Italiano: Identificatore

Identifier in the context of quality management refers to a unique symbol, name, number, or combination thereof, assigned to products, components, documents, or processes to distinguish them from others and facilitate their tracking and management. Identifiers are crucial for ensuring the traceability, control, and accountability of all elements within a quality management system (QMS), allowing for effective organization, retrieval, and analysis of quality-related information.


In quality management, identifiers are used to tag and track various items throughout their lifecycle, from raw materials to finished products, and during all phases of production and distribution. This systematic approach aids in managing inventory, conducting audits, implementing corrective actions, and fulfilling regulatory compliance requirements. Identifiers can range from simple serial numbers or barcodes to complex RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) tags, depending on the level of detail and automation needed.

Application Areas

Identifiers are employed in several key areas within quality management, including:

  • Document Control: Assigning unique identifiers to quality manuals, SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures), and other documentation to ensure the correct versions are easily accessible and used.
  • Product Traceability: Using identifiers to trace the history, application, or location of a product for quality control, safety recalls, or regulatory compliance.
  • Process Monitoring: Tagging processes with identifiers to monitor performance, efficiency, and adherence to quality standards.
  • Inventory Management: Applying identifiers to manage stock levels of raw materials, components, and finished goods efficiently.

Well-Known Examples

A common example of an identifier in quality management is the use of batch numbers in the pharmaceutical industry. Batch numbers allow for the identification of specific batches of medication, facilitating the traceability of production, distribution, and, if necessary, recall of products due to quality or safety concerns.

Treatment and Risks

Inadequate or inconsistent use of identifiers can lead to confusion, misidentification, inefficiencies, and non-compliance issues, potentially compromising product quality and safety. To mitigate these risks, it is crucial to establish and maintain a robust system for generating, assigning, and managing identifiers, ensuring they are unique, clear, and consistently applied across all relevant items and activities within the QMS.

Similar Terms or Synonyms

In the context of quality management, related terms to identifier include ID, tag, label, and code.


Identifier in quality management is a fundamental tool for distinguishing, tracking, and managing various elements within a quality system. Through the effective use of identifiers, organizations can enhance traceability, ensure compliance, and maintain high levels of quality control and product safety.


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