Do you know the difference between Quality Assurance (QA) and quality control (QC)?
QA and QC are two different quality management processes.
What is quality assurance? QA process is a continuous process that occurs before, during, and after producing a product or service.
QC measures the quality of a finished product to ensure that it meets specifications and requirements for quality.
So what’s the difference? QA is about establishing quality standards before production starts. QC ensures those standards were met after the work has been completed.
This blog post will discuss QA vs. QC and how each can benefit your business or organization.
Preventative Vs. Reactive
QA is about quality planning, quality management, and quality improvement.
It ensures that each product or service meets the needs of customers. And it’s done through an ongoing process to maintain conformance with requirements.
QA focuses on the processes necessary to meet customer expectations. You’ll find defects before they occur to prevent them from happening.
In contrast, QC measures the quality of a finished product. The goal is to ensure that it meets specifications and requirements for quality. This means testing products against predefined standards.
QA Prevents Defects Before They Happen, While QC Prevents Defects After They Have Occurred
QA and QC go hand-in-hand. QA focuses on processes to prevent defects from occurring. QC measures the quality of a finished product after production is complete.
The quality management process is about understanding customer needs and expectations. It’s also identifying what you need to do to meet those quality requirements.
QA plays a vital role in preventing defective products that can harm your organization’s reputation. It will also prevent financial loss due to returns, repairs, etc., during operations.
As part of quality management, quality testing ensures conformance with standards set out.
QA Typically Has a Broader Scope Than QC
QA typically has a broader scope than QC. QA includes quality planning, quality management, and quality improvement activities.
This means establishing standards for products through:
- Developing checklists/protocols
- Putting in place appropriate policies
- Executing steps necessary to meet those established standards
- Monitoring compliance throughout the process
- Improving processes based on results of quality testing
In contrast, QC is one step in the quality management process. Its purpose is to ensure product standards are met. And this happens by testing products against predefined standards for quality.
Both processes have their place within an organization’s overall quality system. And that’s to ensure customers receive what they need from your business. In fact, many companies use both as part of their daily operations.
Process Vs. Product
QA focuses on the quality of processes.
This means understanding the expectations, establishing how it will happen, and executing them.
It ensures you have a system in place for quality planning. It also ensures you have a quality management plan to monitor compliance throughout the process.
In contrast, QC measures product quality. And this happens during or at completion.
100% Compliance Rate Vs. Partial Compliance Rate
QC requires 100% compliance with quality standards.
This is because quality testing verifies that products meet specifications and requirements.
In contrast, QA only needs to ensure a partial compliance rate since it happens before a product goes into full-scale operations. This means you needn’t wait until every element of your business is perfect to implement quality management practices.
Whole Team Vs. Dedicated Team
QC requires teamwork for quality management practices.
Everyone in your organization should be responsible for quality planning and quality improvement. This makes sure everyone understands what is expected of them.
In contrast, QC tasks are normally a responsibility of a dedicated team. Their role is to determine whether products meet established standards. And that’s before they go into full-scale operations or after completion.
This way, it won’t impact your core business activities during the production phases. And this will also ensure you don’t waste time on nonessential work.
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Product Development Vs. Product Testing
QA is about quality planning and quality management.
This means it’s a process, not an event like QC is.
It starts before the product goes into full-scale operations. It ensures you have quality plans in place to monitor compliance with your standards throughout production.
In contrast, quality testing verifies whether products meet specifications set out in the design phase. This way, the team knows what will be expected when they start production phases. And this allows them to correct any issues before moving onto full-scale operations.
Business Requirements Vs. Customer Requirements
QA focuses on ensuring the product meets business requirements.
This includes verifying it meets the industry norms. It also ensures you have a quality management system in place to monitor compliance.
In contrast, QC verifies whether products meet customer requirements. This way, they can determine if any issues need correcting before releasing the final version.
These processes ensure customers receive what they expect from your company’s efforts. And also you minimize waste within your operation.
Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control
Quality assurance and quality control are both essential processes. Their role is to ensure you meet established standards for your business.
While they may seem redundant, each process has its own set of objectives. These ensure that core operations run smoothly while minimizing waste.
The main difference between the two is QA focuses on planning product development, whereas QC focus on product testing.
If you are stuck, consider outsourcing quality assurance and quality control expertise.
We hope that helps clear up any confusion surrounding these processes. For more informative blog posts, keep exploring our website.