Inspection and Test Plans set out critical control points or 'hold points' where you will conduct an inspection or check in order to verify that things are progressing as they should be. For ISO 9001, it's part of Monitoring and Measurement.
The ISO 9001 quality management standard says you should “monitor and measure the characteristics of the product to verify that product requirements have been met” and that these measurements “shall be carried out at appropriate stages of the product realisation process” (2008 version).
In ISO 9001:2015 the same requirement is in clause 8.5.1 Control of production and service provision which says you shall implement controlled conditions, including “… monitoring and measurement activities at appropriate stages to verify that criteria for control of processes or outputs, and acceptance criteria for products and services, have been met”
The quality management standard is saying that you must plan when, and what, and how you will check that your product or service is meeting requirements.
This is often documented with an “Inspection and Test Plan” (ITP), which might also be called a “Quality Inspection Plan” or just “Quality Plan”. It is like a Work Instruction for your verification activities.
The idea is to plan for a system of checks throughout the process so that you pick up mistakes or problems early.
There is also a requirement to keep evidence of the check, which means a record of some kind – often in the form of a checklist.
To find out more about how to prepare an ITP and see some examples, have a look at our new support resources page on Inspection and Test Plans.