Statistical quality control technique used in deciding to accept or reject a shipment of input or output. There are two types: attributes sampling and variables sampling. In attributes sampling, the presence or absence of a characteristic is noted in each of the units inspected. In variables sampling, the numerical magnitude of a characteristic is measured and recorded for each inspected unit; this involves reference to a continuous scale of some kind. OR Statistical quality control technique used in deciding to accept or reject a shipment of input or output.
Acceptance sampling uses statistical sampling to determine whether to accept or reject a production lot of material. It has been a common quality control technique used in industry and particularly the military for contracts and procurement. It is usually done as products leave the factory, or in some cases even within the factory. Most often a producer supplies a consumer a number of items and decision to accept or reject the lot is made by determining the number of defective items in a sample from the lot. The lot is accepted if the number of defects falls below where the acceptance number or otherwise the lot is rejected.
Sampling provides one rational means of verification that a production lot conforms with the requirements of technical specifications. 100% inspection does not guarantee 100% compliance and is too time consuming and costly. Rather than evaluating all items, a specified sample is taken, inspected or tested, and a decision is made about accepting or rejecting the entire production lot.
Plans have known risks: an acceptable quality limit (AQL) and a rejectable quality level (LTDP) are part of the operating characteristic curve of the sampling plan. These are primarily statistical risks and do not necessarily imply that defective product is intentionally being made or accepted. Plans can have a known average outgoing quality limit (AOQL).