Statistical Process Control (SPC)

Last updated 24/07/19

Statistical Process Control

Statistical Process Control (SPC) is the scientific, analytical methodology used in industries such as healthcare and manufacturing to control quality, record data and monitor a process over time. The key is to begin monitoring the process in real-time using SPC before you implement a change. This will then allow you to measure the success of that change and confirm whether or not any significant improvements have started to surface. All data is plotted on a graph with pre-determined control limits.

Run Chart vs Control Chart

Run Charts and Control Charts are two basic, quality control tools with varying reporting abilities. Run charts are one of the simplest to use but still provide valuable information. Control charts are a more advanced version of a run chart. You may hear this chart referred to as a Shewhart chart. Control charts still plots a single line of data, but also display an upper line for the upper control limit and a lower line for the lower control limit. Like Run charts, control charts can identify different types of variation such as common cause and special cause, however the rules are different.

Picking the right SPC Chart every time!

A common problem with SPC Charts is knowing the right one to pick! To help you make the right choice and ensure you select the best possible chart for your data, we have created an 'SPC Chart Type' infographic guiding you through the decision-making process.

SPC Chart Types

There are a range of control charts which are broadly similar with two categories of chart existing, "variable" or "attribute". All have been developed to suit particular characteristics of the process being analysed.

Benefits of SPC

Statistical Process Control or SPC as it is commonly known can be daunting and can appear complex at times! We wanted to create a bit of a buzz around SPC and ask some of our Life QI users to share what they consider in their experience to be the "Top Benefits of using SPC".

Evaluating SPC

If you are unsure of how an SPC chart breaks down and have heard certain buzz words mentioned when referring to an SPC chart but didn't want to ask what it meant, then take a look at these basic pointers below.