What does AQL mean?

AQL is the acronym for Acceptable Quality Limit (or Level). This represents a statistical measurement of the maximum number and range of defects that is considered acceptable during a random sampling inspection of your goods. If the AQL is not achieved for a particular sampling of goods, you may accept shipment of the goods ‘as is’, demand a rework of the goods, renegotiate with you supplier, refuse the shipment, or choose another recourse based on your supplier agreement.  

Defects found during a standard random inspection are sometimes classified into three levels: critical, major and minor. Critical defects are those that render the product unsafe or hazardous for the end user or that contravene mandatory regulations. Major defects can result in the product’s failure, reducing its marketability, usability or salability. Lastly, minor defects do not affect the product’s marketability or usability, but represent workmanship defects that make the product fall short of defined quality standards. Different companies maintain different interpretations of each defect type. Our staff can work with you to determine the AQL standard that meets your requirements according to the level of risk you are willing to assume. This becomes the primary reference during a pre-shipment inspection.

It is important to note; the AQL inspection is only a report on the findings at the time of the inspection. HQTS, like all 3rd party QC companies, does not have the authority to make a decision as to whether your goods can be shipped. That is a decision only you can make in consultation with your supplier after reviewing the inspection report.