Acceptance Sampling Standards

Updated October 1, 2018

Note:  Most of the standards below are specific to manufacturing applications.  A small number are also applicable to validation.  Those are specifically marked.

US military standards can be downloaded free of charge using the website quicksearch.dla.mil/qsSearch.aspx.  Searching by Terms works best.  Links are also provided for each military standard below.

MIL-STD-105E (1989) – Sampling Procedures and Tables for Inspection by Attributes
This standard is the basis of ANSI/ASQ Z1.4, ISO 2859-1 and numerous other national standards.  It is based on AQL and Lot Size and intended for a series of lots (manufacturing) where rules are provided for switching between several plans based on past results.  It was used for receiving inspections by the military.  It was canceled by the following notices:

  • NOTICE 3 (06 February 2008)
    Superceeds Notice 2.  MIL-STD-1916 and ANSI/ASQ-Z1.4 can both be used for future acquisitions.

  • NOTICE 2 (26 March 2001)
    Superceeds Notice 1.   This notice replaces ANSI/ASQ-Z1.4 with MIL-STD-1916 for future acquisitions.
  • NOTICE 1 and ANSI/ASQ Z1.4 Adoption Notice (27 FEB 95)
    Future acquisitions should refer to an acceptable non-Government standard such as ANSI/ASQC Z1.4.  This is because ANSI Z1.4 and MIL-STD-105E are essentially the same so there is no need for 2 equivalent standards.

MIL-HDBK-53-1A (1982) – Military Handbook Guide for Attribute Lot Sampling Inspection and MIL-STD-105
Provides basic information on sampling inspection, especially attribute lot sampling inspection, and on MIL-STD-105.  It was also canceled.

  • NOTICE 1 (1 February 2002)
    Canceled without replacement.

MIL-STD-1916 (1996) – DOD Preferred Methods for Acceptance of Product
Replacement to MIL-STD-105E along with ANSI/ASQ Z1.4.  Designed to encourage defense contractors and other commercial organizations supplying goods and services to the U.S. Government to submit efficient and effective process control (prevention) procedures in place of prescribed sampling requirements. The goal is to support the movement away from an AQL-based inspection (detection) strategy to implementation of an effective prevention-based strategy including a comprehensive quality system, continuous improvement and a partnership with the Government. 

MIL-HDBK-1916 (1999) – Companion Document to MIL-STD-1916
This document provides guidance on the use of MIL-STD-1916 to defense contractors and other commercial organizations supplying goods and services to the U.S. Government. The most significant difference between MIL-STD-1916 and previous product acceptance Military Standards is its emphasis on process-oriented improvement efforts. MIL-STD-1916 promotes the use of alternate methods of acceptance to sampling, and specifically endorses the implementation and use of a statistical process control (SPC) program.

MIL-STD-414 (1968) – Sampling Procedures and Tables for Inspection by Variables for Percent Nonconforming

  • Canceled by NOT 2 dated 2 FEB 99. Future acquisitions should refer to acceptable non-Government standard on sampling procedures and tables for inspection by variables for percent defective such as ANSI/ASQC Z1.9-1993.

MIL-STD-1235C (1974) – Single and Multi-Level Continuous Sampling Procedures and Tables for Inspection by Attributes

  • Canceled by MIL-STD-1235C NOT 1.

MIL-STD-690D (10 June 2005) – Failure Rate Sampling Plans and Procedures
This standard provides procedures for failure rate (FR) qualification, sampling plans for establishing and maintaining FR levels at selected confidence levels, and lot conformance inspection procedures associated with FR testing for the purpose of direct reference in appropriate military electronic parts established reliability (ER) specifications. Figures and tables throughout this standard are based on exponential distribution. Weibull distribution will be acceptable in certain components such as capacitors. Use of Weibull distribution for any component must be approved by the qualifying activity. This standard also provides guidance to specification writers in the use of this standard and references material for users of ER parts.

MIL-HDBK-781A (1 April 1996) – Handbook for Reliability Test Methods, Plans, and Environments for Engineering, Development Qualification, and Production
This handbook provides test methods, test plans, and test environmental profiles which can be used in reliability testing during the development, qualification, and production of systems and equipment.

MIL-HDBK-108 (29 April 1960) – Sampling Procedures and Tables for Life and Reliability Testing (Based on Exponential Distribution)

  • Cancelled by NOT 1 dated 31 JAN 2002. MIL-HDBK-108, dated 29 April 1960, is hereby canceled without replacement.

Order ANSI/ASQ documents from:

American Society for Quality
Quality Press
611 East Wisconsin Ave.
P.O. Box 3005
Milwaukee, WI 53201-3005

Telephone: (800) 248-1946

ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2008
Sampling Procedures and Tables for Inspection by Attributes
This standard is identical to the 2003 version and all procedures and tables remain unchanged from Mil-Std-105E. No need to buy a new copy. Why not download a free copy of Mil-Std-105E instead? (3366 KB)

ANSI/ASQ Z1.9-2008
Sampling Procedures and Tables for Inspection by Variables for Percent Nonconforming
This standard is identical to the 2003 version. No need to buy a new copy. However, Z1.9 differs from Mil-Std-414. The sampling plans in Mil-Std-414 and Mil-Std-105E are not matchd. The same AQL, Level of Inspection and Lot Size results in sampling plans with different protection. Z1.9 was matched up with Z1.4, and thus Mil-Std-105E.

ANSI/ASQ Q3-1988
Sampling Procedures and Tables for Inspection of Isolated Lots by Attributes

ANSI/ASQ S1-2012
An Attribute Skip-Lot Sampling Program

The 2012 version of this standard is a reaffirmation with some modifications/revisions of a standard that was introduced in 1987 and reaffirmed in 1996

ANSI/ASQ S2-1995
Introduction to Attribute Sampling

ANSI/ASQ S3-2012
An Attribute Chain Sampling Program

ANSI/EIA 584-1991
Zero Acceptance Number Sampling Procedures and Tables for Inspection by Attributes of a Continuous Manufacturing Process

ANSI/EIA 585-1991
Acceptance Number Sampling Procedures and Tables for Inspection by Attributes of Isolated Lots

ISO acceptance sampling standards are under the technical committee ISO/TC 69/SC 5 Acceptance Sampling.  Below is a list of current standards:

Manufacturing Sampling Plans For Proportion Nonconforming – Attribute Data:

  • ISO 2859-1:1999 – Sampling procedures for inspection by attributes — Part 1: Sampling schemes indexed by acceptance quality limit (AQL) for lot-by-lot inspection
    This standard is similar to ANSI Z1.4, derived from MIL-TDS-105E. 
    • ISO 2859-1:1999/Amd 1:2011
    • ISO 2859-1:1999/Cor 1:2001

  • ISO 2859-2:1985 – Sampling procedures for inspection by attributes — Part 2: Sampling plans indexed by limiting quality (LQ) for isolated lot inspection
    Can be used when the switching rules in ISO 2859-1 are not applied.  Indexing is by a preferred series of limiting qualities with a consumer’s risk usually below 10 % and always below 13 %.  Procedures are provided to cater for two situations: Procedure A to be used when the supplier and the consumer both wish to regard the lot in isolation (shall be used unless there is a specific instruction to use procedure B), procedure B to be used when the supplier regards the lot as one of continuing series but the consumer considers the lot received in isolation.  

  • ISO 2859-3:2005 – Sampling procedures for inspection by attributes — Part 3: Skip-lot sampling procedures
    It specifies generic skip-lot sampling procedures for acceptance inspection by attributes.  The purpose of these procedures is to provide a way of reducing the inspection effort on products of high quality submitted by a supplier who has a satisfactory quality assurance system and effective quality controls.  The reduction in inspection effort is achieved by determining at random, with a specified probability, whether a lot presented for inspection will be accepted without inspection. This procedure extends the principle of the random selection of sample items already applied in ISO 2859-1 to the random selection of lots.  It is applicable to, but not limited to, inspection of end items, such as complete products or sub-assemblies, components and raw materials, and materials in process.

  • ISO 2859-4:2002 – Sampling procedures for inspection by attributes — Part 4: Procedures for assessment of declared quality levels
    It establishes the sampling plans and the procedures that can be used to assess whether the quality level of an entity (lot, process, etc) conforms to a declared value. The sampling plans have been devised so as to obtain a risk of less than 5 % of contradicting a correct declared quality level. The risk is 10 % of failing to contradict an incorrect declared quality level that is related to the limiting quality ratio. Sampling plans are provided corresponding to three levels of discriminatory ability.

  • ISO 2859-5:2005 – Sampling procedures for inspection by attributes — Part 5: System of sequential sampling plans indexed by acceptance quality limit (AQL) for lot-by-lot inspection
    It contains sequential sampling schemes that supplement the ISO 2859-1 acceptance sampling system for inspection by attributes, whereby a supplier, through the economic and psychological pressure of lot non-acceptance, can maintain a process average at least as good as the specified acceptance quality limit, while at the same time provide an upper limit for the risk to the consumer of accepting the occasional poor lot.
Manufacturing Sampling Plans For Proportion Nonconforming – Variables Data:
 
  • ISO 3951-1:2013 – Sampling procedures for inspection by variables — Part 1: Specification for single sampling plans indexed by acceptance quality limit (AQL) for lot-by-lot inspection for a single quality characteristic and a single AQL
    Similar to ANSI Z1.4
     
  • ISO 3951-2:2013 – Sampling procedures for inspection by variables — Part 2: General specification for single sampling plans indexed by acceptance quality limit (AQL) for lot-by-lot inspection of independent quality characteristics

  • ISO 3951-3:2007 – Sampling procedures for inspection by variables — Part 3: Double sampling schemes indexed by acceptance quality limit (AQL) for lot-by-lot inspection

  • ISO 3951-4:2011 – Sampling procedures for inspection by variables — Part 4: Procedures for assessment of declared quality levels

  • ISO 3951-5:2006 – Sampling procedures for inspection by variables — Part 5: Sequential sampling plans indexed by acceptance quality limit (AQL) for inspection by variables (known standard deviation)
Guidance on Use of Sampling Plans For Proportion Nonconforming

  • ISO/TR 8550-1:2007 – Guidance on the selection and usage of acceptance sampling systems for inspection of discrete items in lots — Part 1: Acceptance sampling
    Gives general guidance on the selection of an acceptance sampling system, scheme or plan. The guidance is confined to acceptance sampling of products that are supplied in lots and that can be classified as consisting of discrete items (i.e. discrete articles of product).  Each item of product is countable and has specific characteristics that are measurable or classifiable as being conforming or nonconforming (to a given product specification). 

  • ISO/TR 8550-2:2007 – Guidance on the selection and usage of acceptance sampling systems for inspection of discrete items in lots — Part 2: Sampling by attributes

    Provides further guidance specific to attribute characteristics.

  • ISO/TR 8550-3:2007 – Guidance on the selection and usage of acceptance sampling systems for inspection of discrete items in lots — Part 3: Sampling by variables
    Provides further guidance specific to variables characteristics.
Others

  • ISO 24153:2009 – Random sampling and randomization procedures
    Defines procedures for random sampling and randomization. Several methods are provided, including approaches based on mechanical devices, tables of random numbers, and portable computer algorithms.

  • ISO 28590:2017 – Sampling procedures for inspection by attributes — Introduction to the ISO 2859 series of standards for sampling for inspection by attributes
    Provides a general introduction to acceptance sampling by attributes and provides a brief summary of the attribute sampling schemes and plans used in ISO 2859‑1, ISO 2859‑2, ISO 2859‑3, ISO 2859‑4 and ISO 2859‑5, which describe specific types of attribute sampling systems. It also provides guidance on the selection of the appropriate inspection system for use in a particular situation.

  • ISO 28591:2017 – Sequential sampling plans for inspection by attributes

    Specifies sequential sampling plans and procedures for inspection by attributes of discrete items.  The plans are indexed in terms of the producer’s risk point and the consumer’s risk point. Therefore, they can be used not only for the purposes of acceptance sampling, but for a more general purpose of the verification of simple statistical hypotheses for proportions.

  • ISO 28592:2017 – Double sampling plans by attributes with minimal sample sizes, indexed by producer’s risk quality (PRQ) and consumer’s risk quality (CRQ)

  • ISO 28593:2017 – Acceptance sampling procedures by attributes — Accept-zero sampling system based on credit principle for controlling outgoing quality

  • ISO 28594:2017 – Combined accept-zero sampling systems and process control procedures for product acceptance

  • ISO 28597:2017 – Acceptance sampling procedures by attributes — Specified quality levels in nonconforming items per million

    Provides a set of accept‑zero sampling systems and procedures for planning and conducting inspections to assess quality and conformance to specified requirements.  In addition, this International Standard provides requirements for alternative acceptance methods proposed by the supplier.  Such alternative methods would be based upon establishing and implementing an internal prevention‑based quality management system as a means of ensuring that all products conform to requirements specified by the contract and associated specifications and standards.

  • ISO 28598-1:2017 – Acceptance sampling procedures based on the allocation of priorities principle (APP) — Part 1: Guidelines for the APP approach

  • ISO 28598-2:2017 – Acceptance sampling procedures based on the allocation of priorities principle (APP) — Part 2: Coordinated single sampling plans for acceptance sampling by attributes
  • ISO 39511:2018 – Sequential sampling plans for inspection by variables for percent nonconforming (known standard deviation)
Other Committees

  • ISO 7870-3:2012 – Control charts — Part 3: Acceptance control charts

    Gives guidance on the uses of acceptance control charts and establishes general procedures for determining sample sizes, action limits and decision criteria. This chart should be used only when: a) the within subgroup variation is in-control and the variation is estimated efficiently; b) a high level of process capability has been achieved.  This chart is typically used when the process variable under study is normally distributed, however, it can be applied to a non-normal distribution. Examples are included to illustrate a variety of circumstances in which this technique has advantages and to provide details of the determination of the sample size, the action limits and the decision criteria.

  • ISO 10725:2000 – Acceptance sampling plans and procedures for the inspection of bulk materials

  • ISO 11648-1:2003 – Statistical aspects of sampling from bulk materials — Part 1: General principles
    establishes the general principles for the application and statistical treatment of the sampling of bulk materials. It also provides general guidance and examples for estimating necessary variances and checking precision and bias when the average value of a quality characteristic is investigated. Furthermore, this part of ISO 11648-1:2002 gives information relating to the statistical analyses of serial data, by the use of variograms and correlograms.

  • ISO 11648-2:2001 – Statistical aspects of sampling from bulk materials — Part 2: Sampling of particulate materials

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