Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.10, No.3, 1994. pp. 307326

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Continuous Quality Improvement for Survey Operations: Some General Principles and Applications

Traditionally, survey organizations have relied on inspection methodologies to ensure an acceptable level of quality in their survey operations. Yet inspection methods suffer from a number of serious drawbacks. In this paper we investigate continuous quality improvement (CQI) as an alternative method for ensuring quality in survey operations. In CQI, the aim is to achieve the smallest error rate possible by continually improving the quality of the product for the duration of the operation. We discuss the fundamental concepts and tools that define our specific CQI approach and provide a framework for implementing CQI strategies within a survey organization. In addition, we describe a study in which we incorporated our approach into an industry and occupation coding operation.

Total Quality Management; industry and occupation coding; quality control.

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