Deutsch: Überwachung / Español: Vigilancia / Português: Vigilância / Français: Surveillance / Italiano: Sorveglianza

Surveillance in the quality management context refers to the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the various aspects of a quality management system (QMS) to ensure continuous compliance with established standards, regulations, and internal quality objectives. This process involves regular reviews, audits, and assessments to verify that processes are being conducted as planned, identify areas for improvement, and ensure that corrective actions are effectively implemented. Surveillance activities help organizations maintain the integrity of their QMS, improve operational performance, and sustain customer satisfaction.


Image demonstrating Surveillance in the quality management context

Surveillance in quality management is designed to provide an organization with ongoing insight into the effectiveness of its QMS and the quality of its products or services. It is a proactive approach to detecting issues before they become significant problems, enabling timely interventions. This may include routine inspections, testing of products or processes, feedback analysis, and compliance checks.

Application Areas

Surveillance is crucial in several areas within an organization, such as:

  • Process Control: Monitoring operational processes to ensure they are performed correctly and efficiently.
  • Product Quality: Conducting regular inspections and testing of products to maintain high-quality standards.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Ensuring ongoing adherence to applicable industry regulations and standards.
  • Customer Feedback and Satisfaction: Analyzing customer feedback for insights into the quality of products and services.

Well-Known Examples

  • ISO 9001 Audits: Part of the ISO 9001 standard involves conducting internal and external audits as a form of surveillance to ensure the QMS is functioning properly.
  • Environmental Monitoring: In industries with significant environmental impacts, surveillance might include monitoring emissions or waste management practices to ensure compliance with environmental regulations.

Treatment and Risks

Effective surveillance requires a structured approach, including the development of clear procedures, training of personnel, and the use of appropriate tools and technologies. Risks of inadequate surveillance include non-compliance with standards, decreased product quality, and reduced customer satisfaction. To mitigate these risks, organizations should:

  • Implement a Comprehensive Surveillance Plan: Outline what will be monitored, how often, by whom, and the methods or tools to be used.
  • Utilize Technology: Employ software and monitoring systems that can automate and enhance surveillance activities.
  • Foster a Culture of Quality: Encourage employees at all levels to participate in surveillance activities and to report potential quality issues.

Examples of Sentences

  • "Surveillance activities within a quality management system are essential for ensuring that the organization consistently meets its quality and performance objectives."
  • "Through diligent surveillance, organizations can maintain the high quality of their products and services, ensuring continuous improvement and customer satisfaction."

Similar Terms or Synonyms

  • Monitoring
  • Quality control checks
  • Compliance monitoring



Surveillance in the quality management context is a critical function that involves the continuous monitoring and evaluation of a quality management system's performance and compliance. By systematically overseeing processes, product quality, and regulatory adherence, organizations can proactively address issues, enhance operational efficiency, and ensure the delivery of high-quality products and services to their customers. Effective surveillance is key to maintaining the integrity of the QMS and achieving long-term success.


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