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Reference Information


Here is a partial list of industries that use the AQL Inspector's Rule to ease their quality control inspection.

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Food Services
  • Processed food companies
  • Textiles and Apparel manufactures
  • Medical Devices
  • Large Software and Telephone Companies
  • Industrial Controls Components
  • Printing
  • QC consulting firms

The AQL Inspector's Rule is used by ASQ sections in their Quality Inspectors training courses. It is also used by various Quality Consultants in training sessions.

Listed In

The US Food and Drug Administration document "Draft Compliance Program Guidance Manual: Inspection of Medical Devices" lists the AQL Inspector's Rule in the "Applicable References or Aids". Some FDA offices also use the AQL Inspector's Rule for their own work.

The AQL Inspector's Rule is displayed in Sara Kadolph's book "Quality Assurance for Textiles and Apparel", page 441.


ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2003 (R2013) Standard

The ASQ (American Society for Quality) has released the ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2003 (R2013) standard. The cover of this standard states:

"This standard is a reaffirmation of ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2003 (R2008)

The forward of this standard states

ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2003 (R2013) is a very minor revision of ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2003 (R2008), "Sampling Procedures and Tables for Inspection by Attributes", also referred to as ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2008.

There are no changes to the AQL Inspector's Rule from this revision.

The seven changes listed appear to be corrections of typos introduced from the 1993 to 2003 revisions of the ANSI/ASQ Z1.4 standard.

ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2008 Standard

The ASQ (American Society for Quality) has released the ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2008 standard. The forward of this standard states:

"This standard is a reaffirmation of ANSI/ASQC Z1.4-2003, "Sampling Procedures and Tables for Inspection by Attributes."

There are no changes from the ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2003 to ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2008 standard. All AQL Inspector's Rule conforming to ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2003 do conform to ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2008.

ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2003 Standard

In December 2003 the ASQ (American Society for Quality) released the ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2003 standard. This is a revision to the ANSI/ASQC Z1.4-1993 standard. The ASQ began shipping this new standard revision in middle January 2004.

Changes in ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2003 revision

  1. The name of the standard has been changed to drop the "C". This reflects the 1997 name change of American Society for Quality Control to the current American Society for Quality.

  2. The definition of AQL has been changed from Acceptable Quality Level to Acceptance Quality Limit.

  3. The Discontinuation of Inspection rule has been changed from 10 consecutive lots or batches on tightened inspection to 5 consecutive lots or batches not accepted on tightened inspection.

  4. In Double Sampling the * footnote has been changed. The option to use an alternate double sampling plan has been deleted from this note. Users are directed just to use the corresponding single sampling plan.

    There are similar footnote changes for Double Sampling (AQLs 25 and above) and Multiple sampling that do not apply to the AQL Inspector's Rule.

  5. The notes in this revision specify that the numbers and tables remain the same as the MIL-STD-105E execpt for the changes to the footnotes.

The MIL-STD-105E was officially cancelled in February 1995 by the Air Force. We continue list it because many companies continue to use this standard for inspection. ANSI/ASC Z1.4-1993 is nearly identical to MIL-STD-105E. The MIL-STD-105E was cancelled to reduce costs through the elimination of duplication. Many other standards were cancelled as well where nearly equivalent civilian standards existed.

All the AQL Inspector's Rules (ANSI version) we have produced and sold over the last 3 decades conform to the MIL-STD-105E, ANSI/ASQC Z1.4-1993, ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2003, ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2008 and ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2003 (R2013) (with notes) standards.

The ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2003 (R2013) Standard is available from the ASQ Press at, Items T964 and T964E.

Want to be listed?

If you would like your company or service listed here e-mail us at with how you use the AQL Inspector's Rule