APQP for beginners: Includes free online training materials

New to the advanced product quality planning framework?

Don't despair. In this article, Mike Bendall, Business Mentor at Qualsys, explains APQP, provides a checklist for each APQP phase, and there is a link to download his APQP training course for beginners.

APQP definition

Download your free copy of the APQP training course by Qualsys here

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What is APQP?

APQP stands for Advanced Product Quality Planning. It's a framework (methodology) for developing New Product which was originally used in the automotive industry. The framework helps companies focus on meeting customer requirements, requires validation and is similar to Design for Six Sigma. 


Phase 1: Plan and define

Phase one is about planning and defining the scope of the project. This may involve: 

  • Establish Team
  • Establish Communications
  • APQP Training
  • Customer Requirements & Scope
  • Historical Data (Int & Ext)
  • Benchmark Data (Product & Process)
  • Assumptions (Product & Process)
  • Market Opportunity
  • Competitors
  • Customer Design Inputs
  • Design Goals
  • Quality & Reliability Goals
  • IPR / Patents
  • Manufacturing Feasibility
  • Pricing
  • Preliminary BOM
  • Preliminary Process Flowchart
  • Preliminary Key Characteristics
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Management Review

Tip: Our integrated GRC software provides a framework for APQP. Learn more by downloading our automotive datasheet >>> 

Automotive GRC software datasheet


Phase 2: Do

Phase two involves product design and development. In this phase, you will need to manage: 

  • Block Diagram
  • Design FMEA
  • Drawings
  • Specifications
  • Materials Specifications
  • BOM
  • Warranty / Maintenance
  • Design Verification
  • Design review
  • Change Control
  • Make or Buy Decisions
  • Supplier Selection
  • Tooling, Measurement & Test Equip.
  • Pricing Review
  • Prototype
  • Prototype Customer Approval
  • Update Designs
  • Management Review


Phase 3: Process design and development

Phase three is 

  • Process Flowchart
  • Floor Plan
  • Key Characteristics (Product & Process)
  • Control Plans
  • Process FMEA
  • Process Capability Plan
  • Packaging Specifications
  • Work Instructions
  • Quality System Review
  • Management Review

risk management software

Phase 4: Product and process validation

  • Materials Inspections
  • Trial Production Run (Not Pilot)
  • Measurement Systems Evaluation
  • Process Capability Study
  • Production Validation Testing
  • Packaging Evaluation
  • Production Part Approval
  • Customer Approval
  • Production Control Plan
  • Quality Plan
  • Management Review

Phase 5: Feedback, assessment and CA

  • Production
  • SPC / Reduction of Variation
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Non- Conformance Management
  • Delivery / Service / Warranty Monitoring
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Reporting
  • Management Review

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Topics: IATF 16949, Tools, VDA, Automotive

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