Day in the life of
Quality Control Analyst – Serena Kirton
My name is Serena and I work as a Quality Control Analyst with an agency who provides foster homes to high risk youth in the care of children and family services (MCFD in Canada).
My job includes monitoring of the homes to ensure the youth have all their needs met and that the care is up to the standards of care across all of our homes. This involves checking the cleanliness of the home, analyzing incident trends and behaviours, checking the furnishings and beds to ensure they are in good condition, and checking in with the youth directly to ensure they feel included in the home.
My Typical Day
A typical day will involve a lot of interaction with social workers and quite a bit of paperwork. All of our monitoring gets documented and inputted into our file management system. We then review the files monthly to check for trends that may need further attention. For example, one of the youth may become increasingly involved in substance use. As the quality control analyst, I am required to show justification with incident reports and behaviour reports to involves outside intervention for this youth (could be a substance use counsellor, a rehab program, police liaisons, psychiatric assessments, or the implementation of a harm reduction model into the home). From there, once the care team for this youth is in agreement on the measures to be put in place, I follow and measure the effectiveness of our implemented interventions and provide adjustments as needed.
A quality control analyst is not always a job for stats and numbers. Sometimes the job is more diverse. My role involves stats and numbers, but much of what I do involves personal interactions and identification of needs. As quality control, I am responsible for ensuring our standards of care reach all of our clients/youth.
- There is always something new to learn and challenge you
- My particular side of Quality control involves an everchanging workday so I never know exactly what my day will look like
- Flexibility: because of the nature of my industry I work a lot of flex days (start early, end early, work some short days and some long days, bank extra hours to have a shortened work week, etc)
- A balanced mix of human interactions and paperwork
- Team and interpersonal development is always ongoing through case planning meetings and the analysis of incident trends, brainstorming ideas for implementation with a variety of other professionals including social workers, behavioral consultants/interventionists, family members, persons served, probation officers, and a variety of other professionals
- Constant learning opportunities
- Always changing: my job takes on the road, all around the province depending on where I am needed
- Lots of computer screen work
- High stress environment
- There is a high burnout rate
- High demands on tight timelines
Advise to a student considering a position as a Quality Control Analyst
In my field, quality control is not strictly a numbers and paper game. In the social services sector, Quality Control involves a human component that is quite unique to the field. A critical and creative mind is key to success with a basis of statistical understanding. You need to be able to see the statistics, read the data, and process several options for solutions to present to your team. You need to be open to suggestions and be flexible in adapting to your clients needs within the framework of policy and standards of care.
My advice if someone is considering a position in Quality Control is to learn not just how to read a statistic, but to also learn the field you are looking at providing Quality Control for. Every field has something unique to offer, find it and make it work for your strengths. My strengths are in paperwork and problem solving, people are my weakness. I am forced to constantly develop my people skills but I am also constantly finding new ways to solve the problems that arise day to day in our foster homes. Quality control is about more than numbers, in my field it is about care. It is about heart. And it is about making sure that the needs of a child, no matter how small or how large or how obscure, are met by everyone involved in that child’s care. And I never know where my job will take me tomorrow so be prepared for anything – even moving houses!
conduct tests to determine quality of raw materials, bulk intermediate and finished products. May conduct stability sample tests.