Quality is a prime factor in today’s competitive business world and companies dedicate substantial resources to ensure that their products and services meet or exceed market quality standards. Quality Control and Quality Assurance are distinct processes within production or service delivery that are used to manage such quality.
More specifically, quality control is centered on the identification of defects and is product-oriented. In contrast, quality assurance involves the prevention of defects and is process-oriented. The main reason for quality assurance is to improve and develop test processes so that defects do not arise when manufacturing a product. The main aim of quality control is to identify defective products before they are released. Quality assurance is done by establishing a good management system and by taking periodic conformance audits of the operation systems. Quality control could be done by searching and eliminating sources of quality problems.
Quality assurance helps with the prevention of quality problems by proper planning and systematic activities. Similarly, quality control helps to achieve and control the quality of products and services. Usually, everyone on the team that develops products is responsible for quality assurance but a specific team is usually responsible for testing products to ensure quality control.
Verifying a production system is an example of quality assurance. Validation/software testing is an example of quality control. Statistical techniques can be applied to both quality control and quality assurance. When statistical tools and techniques are used for quality assurance, they are called “statistical process control”. When statistical tools and techniques are used for quality control, they are called “statistical quality control”.
|Definition||Activities undertaken to ensure that products are developed through a quality process.||Activities undertaken to ensure product quality.|
|Focus on||QA focuses on the production process.||QC focuses on the identification and correction of product defects.|
|Goal||QA aims to improve the production process through pre-testing and adjustment.||The objective of QC is to find product defects before release.|
|How||The goal of QA is achieved through the establishment of a quality management system and conformance audits||The goal of QC is achieved using filtering tools that ensure that customer needs are constantly met.|
|Responsibility||Every member of the production team is in charge of QA.||A designated team are usually responsible for QC.|
|Statistical Techniques Used||Statistical Process Control (SPC).||Statistical Quality Control (SQC).|
|As a tool||Managerial tool||Corrective tool|
|Orientation||Process oriented||Product oriented|