(CP) Control Plan

A control plan is a critical document used in manufacturing to ensure product quality and consistency. It's a component of the broader Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) framework originated in the automotive industry to ensure the development and production of high-quality products that meet customer requirements and expectations.

Control plans provide a written summary description of the systems used in minimizing process and product variation. The control plans support the Product Quality Planning Cycle:

  • Early in the product life cycle its primary purpose is to document and communicate the initial plan for process and product control.
  • Subsequently, it guides manufacturing in how to control the process and ensure product quality.

The control plan is an integral part of the APQP process and is to be utilized as a living document, evolving to incorporate improvements and lessons learned as they occur. It is built progressively, according to the stage of the product development (Prototype, Pre-Launch, and Production).


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Critical document used in manufacturing to ensure product quality and consistency. It's a component of the broader Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) framework.

Additional Bundles:

APQP & Control Plan 2-Pack - Discounted Bundle
Core Tools Requirements 6-Pack - Discounted Bundle
IATF 16949 & Core Tools 7-Pack - Discounted Bundle

APQP, Control Plan and PPAP Training Guide

Curious on which APQP, Control Plan, or PPAP training course you should take? View our helpful training guide to compare which course would fit your needs.


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Familiarize yourself with the language and techniques used in everyday control plan activities with this 30-minute eLearning exploring the role of control plans in the Core Tools structure, best practices for crafting your own control plans (including proven tips and tricks that lead to higher quality output), insights on communicating the “why” to your organization, and more.

Looking for a comprehensive training on control plans, covering everything from development to maintenance? Designed for a variety of learners (and particularly geared toward beginners), this one-day course focuses on certain areas that are often overlooked, along with best practices for monitoring your control plan.

Covering both the APQP 3rd Edition and Control Plan 1st Edition in a single day, this unique hybrid training includes a range of presentation materials to help attendees better understand key updates and associated deliverables. (Note: Copies of both publications are also included in the cost of registration!)

This two-day “transitioning” training – intended for current APQP practitioners, managers, and auditors – focuses on updates and changes in the APQP 3rd Edition to facilitate a better understanding of how your APQP program will be impacted, provide examples of new elements, and explore the managerial side of APQP in more detail.

Focusing on both the managerial and technical aspects of APQP, this three-day course includes case studies for practical analysis, along with various other techniques successful practitioners have used over the years. If you’re looking for a comprehensive APQP training to move above and beyond conformance, this course is for you.

Designed to provide an overview of the new APQP 3rd Edition, this one-day course covers both the technical and managerial aspects of APQP to help you gain a more well-rounded understanding of program management. Course content focuses on general expectations for APQP tasks and the higher system level of phases, along with using new APQP tools in real-world contexts, and more.

Focusing on high level topics, this eLearning reviews the history and structure of APQP, benefits and best practices, and key concepts such as gateways and activities. Additional content addresses the hierarchy and interdependency of the Core Tools, the role APQP accomplishes for the business system, and more.

Register To Watch Webinars

A 1 hour webinar focusing on the importance of applying APQP and Control Plan methodologies down through the supply chain, and how the new versions of these methodologies can actually help you achieve it.

This webinar focuses on changes in the new APQP 3rd Edition and standalone Control Plan, emphasizing their impact on the future of product quality planning.

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Free Resources

Watch Scott Trantham - Global Supplier Quality Manager (General Motors) - talk about the new APQP and Control Plan.

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The key benefits of Control Plans include:

  • Guides manufacturing in how to control the process and ensure product quality. During regular production runs, the control plan provides the process monitoring and control methods that will be used to control product and/or process characteristics.
  • Provides the organization with the baseline to evaluate output, review the control plan, and make appropriate changes based on lessons learned and quality performance data.
  • When utilized as “Family Control Plan” or “Foundation Control Plan”, allows a more efficient new product development and launch.

What are the key sections of the new manual?

The most noticeable change in the AIAG Control Plan reference manual (when compared with the previous Control Plan section inside the APQP 2nd Edition manual) is the clear description of control plan requirements and further clarification guidelines on how to effectively implement control plans, including their linkages with other quality assurance methods.

The main changes you will find in the new Control Plan manual are:

Detailed requirements and guidelines for topics based on past problems/opportunities: Control Plan format, Special Characteristics, Pass-Through Characteristics (PTC), Error Proofing Confirmation, Families of Control Plans, Interdependent Processes and/or Control Plans, Rework and Repair Processes, Reaction Plan Details, 100% Visual Inspection, “Black-Box” Processes, Non-Design Responsible Organizations, Direct Supply, and Use of Software to Develop and Manage Control Plans.

  • Detailed guidance on how to develop control plans, not just form fields. Previously just described “Form Field content”, now includes description of how to obtain information and some minimum expectations, including:
  • Frequency: if not 100%, must be volume-based and support containment,
  • Reaction Plan: clarified expectation to include contain suspect product, stop the process from creating more suspect product, steps to bring the process back to control, and
  • Reaction Plan: Requires inclusion of the “Owner/Responsible” for the Reaction, or reference to a detailed instruction document.
  • Addition of “Safe Launch” requirements: must establish judgment criteria to exit Safe Launch, typically 90 days performance with no problems to customer and no problems identified by Safe Launch additional/enhanced controls/containment.
  • The Production Control Plan is a living document and should be updated with lessons learned and other continuous improvement data sources.
  • Consideration points for effective use of QMS and other elements related to Control Plan implementation, such as: Reverse PFMEA, Using Software to Develop and Manage Control Plan, Layered Process Audit as Control Plan Verification, Control Plans in Highly Automated Processes, Using Family/Foundation Control Plans and FMEAs, Control of Storage and Handling Related Risks, and Abnormality Management related to Control Plans.

Program Management: Quality Team - (248) 358-3570