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Acceptance Quality Limit (AQL) - Meaning & Definition

Published by MBA Skool Team in Operations and Supply Chain Terms Last Updated: April 01, 2023Read time:

What is Acceptance Quality Limit (AQL)?

It is defined as the worst quality level in a process that is considered to be acceptable for a product from a given sample size in a particular lot or population size. In other words it is the maximum number of defective goods or non-conformities acceptable for a client in a sample size.

Mathematical Expression

Non Conformities per 100 items is expressed as one hundred times the number of non-conformities in a lot or population divided by lot or population size

100p=100 D/N


Where p= number of non-conformities per item

D=number of non-conformities per item

N=lot or population size

Explanation and Examples

AQL levels differ according to the product you are manufacturing and market you will supply the product.


AQL level (European Standards)

AQL level (US Standards)

Medical Examination Gloves




Defect Types

Defects are classified into three major categories which are as follows

Critical Defects

No Critical defects are accepted i.e. AQL 0 as it might result to unsafe conditions or are against mandatory regulatory norms

Major Defects

Reduces the usability of the product. An AQL level 2.5 is acceptable

Minor Defects

It is a defect beyond set quality standards but the product is deemed to be usable. An AQL level 4.0 is acceptable


Hence, this concludes the definition of Acceptance Quality Limit (AQL) along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team which comprises of MBA students, management professionals, and industry experts. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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