To ascertain factors relevant to effective training for statistical process control (SPC), this study examined the training practices and needs of ten UK manufacturing organisations of different sizes and product ranges. In the companies, who were all actively using SPC, major training needs were found over the whole range of SPC related activities, from conceptual understanding of its potential effectiveness as a quality tool, through the development of diagnostic and problem solving skills, down to basic control chart completion and interpretation. The companies that seemed most effective in the use of SPC, had devolved more SPC procedures to employees lower in the organisational hierarchy. In those companies all employees had good levels of education and the training tended to focus on domain relevant and conceptually concrete approaches. In the other companies a diverse mixture of forms of training were used, with limited success. From the training needs identified and the comparison of the forms of training, some recommendations for the design of SPC training have been inferred.
Appears as: Cheng, P. C.-H., & Dawson, S. (1998). A study of statistical process control: Practice, problems and training needs. Total Quality Management, 9(1), 3-20.
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