UKOLN AHDS Top 10 Quality Assurance Tips

The Top 10 Tips

1 Document Your Policies

You should ensure that you document policies for your project - remember that it can be difficult to implement quality if there isn't a shared understanding across your project of what you are seeking to achieve. For example, see the QA Focus policies on Web standards and link checking [1] [2].

2 Ensure Your Technical Infrastructure Is Capable Of Implementing Your Policies

You should ensure that your technical infrastucture which is capable of implementing your policies. For example, if you wish to make use of XHTML on your Web site you are unlikely to be able to achieve this if you are using Microsoft Word as your authoring tool.

3 Ensure That You Have The Resources Necessary To Implement Your Policies

You should ensure that you have the resources needed to implement your policies. This can include technical expertise, investment in software and hardware, investment in training and staff development, etc.

4 Implement Systematic Checking Procedures To Ensure Your Policies Are Being Implemented

Without systematic checking procedures there is a danger that your policies are not implemented in practice. For example, see the QA Focus checking procedures for Web standards and link [3] [4].

5 Keep Audit Trails

You should seek to provide audit trails which provide a record of results of your checking procedures. This can help to spot trends which may indicate failures in your procedures (for example, a sudden growth in the numbers of non-compliant HTML resources may be due to deployment of a new authoring tool, or a lack of adequate training for new members of the project team).

6 Learn From Others

Rather than seeking to develop quality assurance policies and procedures from scratch you should seek to learn from others. You may find that the QA Focus case studies [5] provide useful advice which you can learn from.

7 Share Your Experiences

If you are in the position of having deployed effective quality assurance procedures it can be helpful for the wider community if you share your approaches. For example, consider writing a QA Focus case study [6].

8 Seek 'Fitness For Purpose' - Not Perfection

You should seek to implement 'fitness for purpose' which is based on the levels of funding available and the expertise and resources you have available. Note that perfection is not necessarily a useful goal to aim for - indeed, there is a danger that 'seeking the best may drive out the good'.

9 Remember That QA Is For You To Implement

Although the QA Focus Web site provides a wide range of resources which can help you to ensure that your project deliverables are interoperable and widely accessible you should remember that you will need to implement quality assurance within your project.

10 Seek To Deploy QA Procedures More Extensively

Rather than seeking to implement quality assurance across your project, it can be beneficial if quality assurance is implemented at a higher level, such as within you department or organisation. If you have an interest in more widespread deployment of quality assurance, you should read about the ISO 9000 QA standards [7].


  1. Policy on Web Standards, QA Focus, UKOLN,
  2. Policy on Linking, QA Focus, UKOLN,
  3. Procedures for Web Standards, QA Focus, UKOLN,
  4. Procedures for Linking, QA Focus, UKOLN,
  5. Case Studies, QA Focus, UKOLN,
  6. Contributing To Case Studies, QA Focus, UKOLN,
  7. Selection and Use of the ISO 9000:2000 family of standards, ISO,