How to prepare your QC inspection report template

Quality Control TipsA few months back, we drew an infographic to show how a random inspection works, but we didn’t get into all the specifics. I regularly get questions from readers who ask me how to report the results.

(Update: we have started offering a reporting set up service – click here for more information).

There are many ways to prepare a QC inspection report. But here are a few guidelines to prepare a document that suits your needs.

A report is usually composed of the following parts:

Conformity to specifications

You probably want the inspector to look at the following aspects of the products:

  • Components
  • Assembly
  • General outlook, colors
  • Labeling
  • Packaging & packing

It can look like this (this example counts only 1 checkpoint, but you are encouraged to list up to 10 or 15 points in each sub-part, to be inspected during the job):

Materials and components

What to report?

In my mind, the inspector should only show the non-conformities if he was trained properly and if you trust him. But that’s up to you. Some inspection firms commonly use freelancers that they don’t really know, and they require reporting (and photos) for everything. Up to you!

On-site tests & measurements

This is the place for the checks that take some time, and that are generally performed only on a few samples:

  • The tests (to be clearly described, including the equipment to use and the required result)
  • The measurements of the cartons and of the products (size and weight)

Here is an example of test:

On-site tests

And for the measurements:

Measurements of cartons

Production status

This is where the presented quantity is noted.

Here is a common way of displaying this information:

Production status

It is extremely important to know whether the inspector could count the quantity of products (sometimes they are piled up in bulk), and whether all products were available for sampling (sometimes they are under packing or repairing).

If the inspection takes place during production, you can add some extra questions to ask the factory: how many lines are working on my products, when will you get to 50% finished, etc.

Visual defects on the product and the packing

The inspector will look for defects, will place them in the right categories (critical/major/minor), will add the numbers up, and will compare them to the AQL limits.

This is the most basic part of every QC report, and every inspector knows how to present this. Make sure you get photos, and a clear description of each defect (if it’s not obvious on the photos, indicate the size of each defect and its position on the product).

Appendix: photos

This is the place where you list the photos that you want to see, whether there are problems or not.

A good tip: describe how each photo should be taken (what angle). This way, you can compare the photos across several inspection reports. Some buyers have noticed an evolution in the manufacturing process based on this technique.

Photos in appendix

Is it helpful?


  1. Carmelo rubio says

    It depends so much in what your customer want you to check in the inspection, some reports can be as easy as this one, others can be much more complicated. Always desing a report that fulfill your customers needs with us much data and pictures as you can.

    Carmelo Rubio Linares
    General Manager

  2. Renaud Anjoran says

    You are right, it depends on the customer’s needs. Some importers have a 1-page template, and it is our job to summarize everything.