Guide to Control Plans

This page was last updated on 21st June 2022

What are Control Plans?

A control plan is the documented description of those procedures, checks or assigned activities necessary to verify that production units continue to conform to the type approval requirements with regard to specification, marking and performance.

The aim of the control plan information is to show that the appropriate level of control exists in relation to those aspects of the product, which are critical to its continued type approval, it should also provide a means of monitoring compliance.  It may be that between products, the needs are broadly similar for a particular subject however consideration needs to be given as to whether or not the conditions should be different for specific products. This may be for example where initial results are close to the limit or special specifications or processes were introduced in order to achieve compliance.

The documented description normally addresses the elements outlined below in a separate document (for example a Quality Plan) but control criteria may be clearly referenced in accessible sections of specific quality documentation.

For the arrangements to be effective and capable of demonstrating conformity, the control plan information needs to take account of requirements for particular types or models and individual subjects applicable to those types.  It will not be acceptable for example to give only general statements such as “controls ensure that all legislative requirements are met”, VCA believe that the following may need to be addressed in order to establish adequate understanding for specific systems and components:

Control Description Describing what is being checked for
Test Method Is it a visual check, electrical, mechanical? A visual check may be made against a master. Dimensions may be checked in a rig, a voltmeter may be needed for electrical tests etc
Pass/Fail What are the criteria against which a sample is deemed to have passed or failed?
Frequency Is every product tested or 1 in 500, for example
Department Those responsible for the check or test
Report Method of recording results
Follow up Responsibility for follow up action