It is a natural working group of employees from the same work areas, who come together on their own initiative, voluntarily and meet regularly (typically, once a week), to discuss their work / quality related problems, investigate their causes, recommend solutions, and take corrective actions.
The problems may be in the area of either production or service. The main aim of Q.C is to generate new ideas for improving Productivity and working conditions.
The number of members in any type of organisation would range anywhere from 2 to 10. No restriction on their number, and no compulsion to form a Quality Circle either.
Earlier, it was called Quality Control circle, now renamed as “Quality Circles”. The concept took its birth in United States in the 1950’s and was soon picked up by Japanese, who developed it further and explored its many benefits. Now the concept is popularly used in USA as well.