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Friday, October 31, 2008

Quality Audit Requirements

1 In-Process Audit


In-process audits are performed to monitor the quality of the product through the various stages of production. If any problems with construction, measurement, workmanship, accessories or packing are found during the audits, these will be brought immediately to the attention of the garment manufacturer. If necessary, the  Head of Production, Planning and/or LO Country Manager, could also be involved to resolve quality issues and revise deliveries or modes of transportation.





In order to schedule in-process audits during bulk production, the Production Department must be kept informed of the production status of each supplier. The approximate date of completion of the bulk production can be referred to in the Work-In-Process report 03200/08, prepared by the garment manufacturer and forwarded to the Production Department. However, for a more accurate timetable, the Quality Field Technician must follow up with the relevant garment manufacturer, to schedule the in-process audit activity. Weekly meetings should be held between Quality and Production to review timetables. If the garment manufacturer notifies the Planning or Production Departments about changes in production schedules, this information must be forwarded to the Quality team.


Verification of Wash Testing


The purpose of Wash Testing is to verify that the finished product conforms to  performance standards and specifications.


Once completed garments start to come of the production line, the garment manufacturer must conduct their own wash test or submit them to the responsible LO for testing. If the product fails, the garment manufacturer must conduct further wash tests. If it is determined that the material is not appropriate for the end use, or it is not compatible with the other materials used in the garment, options will be discussed with the LO Country Manager, Head of Production and the Product Manager. If necessary, the regional Apparel Quality or Fabric Quality managers will need to be involved.


Information about wash tests is forwarded to the Quality Field Technician, who will keep it in the product file. The Quality Field Technician needs to verify that each product has passed the wash test, and record this in the Apparel Inspection Report .

2 Final Audit


A Final Audit is performed to assure that product shipped to the destination warehouse or retailer is of first quality. The audit consists of an accuracy audit, a full-size measurement check, a quality inspection, and a verification of product performance. Purchase orders (PO) are audited by an  Quality Field Technician or an approved supplier Final Auditor. Mil Standards 105E will be used to determine whether a PO can be shipped. However, the  expectation is zero defects in first quality products.


2.1 Timing


Each week, the garment manufacturer is responsible for updating the Work-In-Progress Report 03200/08, and submitting it to the Planning and Production Departments at the responsible LO. This report will be forwarded to the Quality Field Technicians and the Production Manager, who will use the projected final audit dates, to help them plan their audit schedules.


2.2 Equipment


·         Sealed Counter or Size-set sample

·         Article Description

·         Measurement Specification Sheet

·          Defect Classification List  03200/03

·          Inspection Method 03200/05

·          How to Measure Method 03200/04

·         Apparel Inspection Report 03200/06

·         Labelling and Packaging Apparel Manual

·         AATCC Puckering Standard

·          Colour Standards

·         Accessories Component card

·         Defective stickers / coloured tape         

·         Copy of Purchase Order (given by garment manufacturer)

·         Packing List (given by garment manufacturer)

·         Final Inspection Report, performed by garment manufacturer

·         Inspection table, with adequate lighting (D65)

·         Tape measure

·         Pen



2.3 Procedures


In order to pass the final audit, the product must comply with the packing requirements, pass the quality audit, meet the measurement specification and pass garment wash testing. Shipments are generally style-related, not order-related, which means, if there are several POs. of the same style (i.e. same or different customer, same or different colour), the final audits could be combined, to make the process more efficient. (i.e. one Apparel Inspection Report to be completed). The following steps AQL Procedure 03000/02 need to be followed during the audit:

2.3.1 Packing Verification


·         For each PO (or combined POs) to be audited, the Final Auditor/Quality Field Technician needs to count the total number of cartons offered and compare the finding with the packing list provided.

·         The Final Auditor/Quality Field Technician determines the total quantity of products offered for final audit, by adding the quantities from each packing list. The number of cartons to be selected is then calculated, based on the sampling plan (refer to Packing Audit Sampling Plan).

·         If POs are combined, the selected cartons should represent all articles and sizes available within the population.

·         The Final Auditor/Quality Field Technician either selects the cartons from the storage location personally or writes the numbers of the cartons on the packing list, for the factory helper to find. The numbers of the cartons will be recorded on the Apparel Inspection Report.

·         The packing accuracy verification can either be conducted at the carton storage location or in an inspection room, however the Final Auditor/Quality Field Technician needs to be present when the cartons are opened. Depending upon the location of packing audit, the factory helper will bring either cartons or products to the inspection room.

·         The Final Auditor/Quality Field Technician will check that the cartons used are to specification. This includes checking and recording the dimensions and make-up (staples or glue) of the carton, and verifying that the position and wording of the main and side markings are correct.

·         After each carton is opened, the Auditor will count the quantity and check the size, style and colour of all products contained inside. The information, written on the Outer Carton Label (OCL), will also be checked versus the contents of the cartons selected for audit.

·         The type of packaging, including wording on the polybag, and the method of packing the garments, in the carton, will also be checked.

·         Products will be randomly sampled from each carton (as per calculation) for the Quality Audit.

·         After the Packing Audit, the auditor will write appropriate comments in the Apparel Inspection Report, indicating any discrepancies between the audit samples and the packing requirements. Any quality defects, observed during the accuracy audit will also be noted.

·         A decision about accepting or rejecting the load for packing accuracy should be made based on the following sampling plan, which is based on AQL  0.15 Normal. If the number of accuracy errors found during the packing is in the acceptance range, only the cartons with the errors need to be repacked. If the number of errors are in the reject range the whole shipment needs to be re-screened.

However our expectation is always zero tolerance.


Packing (Based on AQL 0.15 Normal, source: MIL Standard 105E)







          1   -      500





      501   -    1200





    1201   -    3200





    3201   -  10000





  10001   -  35000






To determine the number of cartons to be selected, first identify the declared quantity the garment manufacturer is planning to ship. From this quantity, the number of garments to be sampled for the packing check can be determined. Divide the sampling size chosen by the number of pieces per carton and the rounded-up result will give you how many cartons we need to select (at random) for the packing accuracy check.


e.g.:     Shipped quantity = 5000 Garments. Sample size = 800 Garments. Packed = 60 Garments / carton

            800/60 = 13.33 Cartons = 13 Cartons to be checked.

2.3.2 Garment Inspection


·         The garment inspection will include a full body measurement check for each size and an inspection to check for material defects, appearance, decoration, construction, workmanship, labelling (care, size and main labels), and finishing defects.

·         For any inspection, it is very important, that a suitable place (table) and a sufficient light source (preferably D65) are available.

·         Follow the  inspection method, in order to eliminate the possibility of overlooking an area of the garment.


Quality (Based on AQL1.5 Normal, Level I; source: MIL Standard 105E)







          1   -      280





      281   -    1200





    1201   -    3200





    3201   -  10000





  10001   -  35000






To determine the number of cartons to be selected, follow the packing formula.


e.g.:     Shipped quantity = 5000 Garments. Sample size = 800 Garments. Packed = 60 Garments / Carton

            800:60 = 13.33 Cartons = 13 Cartons to be selected


To determine how many pieces need to be sampled from each carton for the Quality check, first determine the sample size for the Quality check, based on the load size. Then, divide this sample size by the number of cartons selected, for the Packing Audit.


e.g.:     Shipped quantity = 5000 Garments. Sample size = 80 Garments (and 13 cartons selected).

80/13 =  6.15 garments per carton to be checked (so select 6 units each from 12 of the cartons and 8 garments from the 13th carton)

            Non conforming garments:        3 accepted;

4 rejected



Measurement Check


For each size, record the full body measurements of at least 3 garments. The result of the measurement check will be recorded on the Measurement Specification Sheet, highlighting any garments that are considered to be out-of-tolerance. During the quality check, a random check of the critical measurements such as body length, sleeve length and chest (for tops), waist and inseam (for bottoms) should also be made. Garments out-of-tolerance are counted as defects.


Requirements :


·         Measure according to the  How to Measure Method 03200/04

·         Refer to the Measurement Specification Sheet in Article Description

·         Tolerances are mentioned on the Measurement Specification Sheet (in Article Description)

·         For recording the measurements, use the additional size specification in the Article Description.

·         Circle all measurements that are out of tolerance (in red colour)

 The defective garments will be set aside for a follow-up review with factory management.


Each defect will be recorded in the Apparel Inspection report 03200/06, either by name or by Defect Classification List 03200/03 number, and the totals, tallied by defect group (fabric, workmanship, cleanliness, cleanliness, decoration, finishing, measurement, packing). The total numbers of defects found are written in the appropriate boxes provided on the form. The total number of defects (only one defect is counted per garment), compared with the accept/reject numbers for the chosen sampling plan, determine whether the load is accepted or rejected.


A representative for the garment manufacturer must sign the Apparel Inspection Report to indicate their acknowledgement of and agreement with the audit result.


Whenever a lot is rejected, and the garments can be repaired, the factory must rescreen the shipment, and offer for a re-inspection. A new Apparel Inspection Report must be completed.

In the event that the shipment cannot be repaired, the LO needs to decide how to settle the issue.  This could be by discount or by destroying the garments, but each case will be treated on an exception basis.



Related Documents:








AQL Procedure

Apparel Quality




 Defect Classification List for Garments

Apparel Quality




 Defect Classification List for Socks

Apparel Quality




 How to measure Method

Product Creation Team





 Inspection Method

Apparel Quality




Apparel Inspection Report

Apparel Quality




Work in Progress Report





Article Description (from RMS)





Labelling and Packaging Apparel Manual

Labelling and Packaging