AQL Sampling Tables in Excel

Acceptable Quality Level | Zero-Based Sampling

Acceptable Quality Level (AQL) is the maximum percent defective (or maximum number of defects per 100 units) that can be considered acceptable. AQL is measured in defects per 100 units.

To calculate sample size using AQL, you need to know if you are using the standard AQL table or Zero-Based Sampling tables. You will also need to know:

  1. Lot or Batch Size of incoming or outgoing product
  2. Acceptable Quality Level (AQL = 1 is standard - 1 defect per 100 units or 1%)
  3. Inspection Level (I, II, III - usually level II)

QI Macros Statistical Software for Excel Contains AQL Sampling Tables

QI Macros AQL Sampling Table helps determine acceptance sampling for incoming materials and products.

To access the tables, click on QI Macros menu, select the Calculators drop-down found in the Templates for Lean Six Sigma portion of the software, and then open Sample Size Calculator.


Choose from either AQL Acceptance Table (Single Sampling) or AQL Zero-Based Acceptance Table.

AQL Acceptance Table

Step 1 - Select the lot or batch size by clicking on the pulldown menu.


Step 2 - Set the AQL Level (typically 1, but can vary) by clicking on the pulldown menu.


Step 3 - Set the Inspection Level (typically II).


NOTE: ALWAYS use the clickable, pulldown menus when entering your Lot, AQL, and Inspection Level.

The template will look up the Sample Size (5) and accept/reject levels (0/1) from the AQL Table. The lot size and inspection level give the letter code "C" which gives a sample size of 5 and accept/reject of 0/1. This means take five samples and if one is defective, reject the lot otherwise accept the lot.

AQL Table Lookup

Our reference for the AQL Acceptance Table (Single Sampling) is: MIL-STD-105E.

AQL Zero-Based Acceptance Sampling

Zero-Based Acceptance Sampling requires that you accept on zero; reject on 1.

There is no other option. It's a different table than standard AQL Single Sampling table, which might tell you, in some cases, to accept on 2 and reject on 3 defects.

AQL Zero-based Acceptance Sampling usine QI Macros

Step 1 - Select the lot or batch size by clicking on the pulldown menu.

Step 2 - Set the AQL Level (typically 1, but can vary) by clicking on the pulldown menu.

The template will then look up the Sample Size (13), using the AQL level, based on: MIL-STD-1916.

AQL Zero-based Acceptance sampling with QI Macros

Note: Zero-based acceptance sampling gives a higher sample size than the AQL Table, but may require fewer samples than AQL sampling.

AQL vs Zero-based Acceptance Sampling with QI Macros


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