What Are Check Sheets?


Check sheets represent one of the seven basic tools of quality and serve to provide a structured way while collecting quality-related data as a rough means for assessing a process or as an input to other analyses. Also known as a Tally Sheet.

It was designed by Ishikawa as one of the seven tools, to be used by everyone in the organization to record data.

These sheets are used to record the occurrences of activities. In a table or diagram form they are extremely useful as a data collection device and record to supplement attribute quality control charts.

These sheets can be used in any process or function within the organization.

They are structured in a table form where the rows can be representative of a timeline and the columns, the data category you wish to collect information on.

The data that results forms the basis then for follow-up analysis, determination of Improvement Activities or Corrective Actions.


Example of a Check Sheet

Example of a Check Sheet.


How to do a Check sheet


The sheets can also take the form of process steps and can aim to ensure that the operator of the process carries out each step before continuing on to the next process step. They are a rather simple concept but have many uses of which the following represent the three main functions:


  1. Data gathering
  2. Ensuring completion of tasks.
  3. Legal evidence.


Check out Business Process Management Diagrams for more information on documenting process steps.



The Human Factor

Years ago, I was asked to carry out an audit to certify a company to ISO9001. The audit was carried out in a very poor developing country. I was not proficient in the language so a translator was provided by the company.


My first port of call was the Stores. I was shown a check sheet. The translator provided the rough details on what the sheet’s purpose was. I checked it out. All seemed fine.


I moved from there to the Tool repairs workshop. When I asked for their documentation I was handed the same form, but this time being used as a Tally sheet and a totally different purpose. The translator explained how the workshop must have simply borrowed the forms from the stores and re-invented their use.


It was when I was shown the exact same form in the purchasing department that the situation became sticky.


I was brought to the side and explained how the printing company next door had closed down and left all these form pages behind. The boys in the company I was auditing, seized their opportunity, took the form pages and put them to the many uses I had found.


Now, how would you have assessed this situation?


To find out more about Quality Assurance, check out these:

Myths about ISO9000

Myths about ISO9000

Ishikawa Fishbone Diagram

Cause and Effect

Pareto Analysis 80:20 Rule

Pareto Analysis

Total Quality Management

Total Quality Management

Definition of Quality Assurance

Definition of Quality Assurance

Critical To Quality Tree

Critical To Quality Tree

Quality Circles

Quality Management Tutorial

› Check Sheets

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