Quality control and quality assurance are two components of quality management. Quality assurance and Quality control are often misunderstood for being the same. Many people assume that QA and QC are similar in some way. But sometimes QA and QC create a bit of confusion about the very fine line in the difference between quality assurance and quality control.
Before we learn the difference between QA vs QC, let’s define both these terms.
Also known as Quality Testing, Quality Assurance is defined as an activity performed to let the organization provide the best possible product or any kind of service to the customers.
QA is a set of activities done for ensuring quality in the process by which the products are developed. I.e. the activities of quality assurance come into play when the product is in the development process.
QC i.e. the abbreviated form of Quality Control is defined as a software engineering process which is used to ensure quality in the organization’s product or service that it provides. It is not involved in the production of the products, rather it focuses on the quality of the products that are made.
QC is a set of activities for ensuring the quality of products. The activities emphasize determining defects in the definite products produced. I.e. the activity of Quality control comes into play when the product has passed the development stage and comes into the manufacturing stage.
Let’s jump into some characteristics and processes of QA and QC:
- QA aims to prevent defects with a focus on the process used to make the product. Thus making it a proactive quality process.
- QC aims to identify (and correct) defects in the finished product. Thus making it a Reactive process.
- The Objective of QA is to improve development and test processes so that defects do not arise when the product is being developed.
- The objective of QC is to determine defects after a product is developed and before it is released into the market.
- QA: To establish a good quality management system and the assessment of its adequacy. Periodic conformance audits of the operation of the system. (E.g. Verification is an example of QA).
- QC: To find and eliminate sources of quality problems through tools and equipment so that customers requirements are continually met. (E.g. Validation/Software Testing is an example of QC).
Difference between Quality Assurance and Quality Control
The main difference is that QA is process oriented and QC is product oriented. Quality assurance focuses on defect prevention, whereas ‘Quality Control’ is product oriented and focuses on defect identification.
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Now, list down the various differences between QA vs QC:
|QUALITY ASSURANCE||QUALITY CONTROL|
|1. QA is process oriented.||1. QC is product oriented.|
|2. Focuses on making the product and providing services to the customers. It is involved in making the end product.||2. Focuses on ensuring excellent quality of the products that are made and the services that are provided.|
|3. The aim of QA is to improve development and test processes so that bugs do not arise when the product is being developed.||3. The aim of QC is to identify defects after a product is developed and before it’s released.|
|4. It is basically a preventive technique.||4. It is basically a corrective technique.|
|5. Full software development life cycle is involved in QA.||5. Full software testing life cycle is involved in QC.|
|6. The main motive of a QA tester is to prevent all the defects in the system.||6. The main motive of QC is to identify and improve if there is any deformity in the system.|
|7. The presence of the entire team is required for Quality Testing.||7. Only the testing team’s presence is required in case of Quality Control.|
|8. Quality Assurance is performed before Quality Control is done.||8. Quality control process takes place after Quality Assurance.|
|9. Certain standards and methodologies need to be followed in case of QA.||9. Certain well-defined standards are followed in case of Quality Control|
|10. Quality assurance Falls under Validation activity.||10. Quality control Falls under verification activity.|
|11. Quality assurance is considered as a managerial tool||11. Quality control is considered as a corrective tool.|
|12. QA does not involve in the execution of the program.||12. QC always involves executing the program.|
|13. Statistical Technique used on QA is known as Statistical Process Control (SPC.)||13. Statistical Technique used on QC is known as Statistical Quality Control (SQC.)|
|14. Quality assurance is not measured as a time-consuming activity||14. Quality control is measured as a time-consuming activity|
QA and QC are both an essential part when it comes to the development as well as manufacturing of the product but if you keep these aspects in mind then the chances of failure can be decreased incredibly.
So basically QA is the prevention of quality problems through planned and systematic activities including documentation. FMEA, SOP, Control plan, work instruction etc. are the processes included under the QA department. Keep this in mind that all of these processes are done to assure the quality of the product. On the other hand, QC is the collection of activities or Techniques used to achieve and maintain the product Quality, process and service. Examples of quality control activities include inspection, deliverable peer reviews and the software testing process.
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It is clear that QA and QC are different from each other. We should not confuse the two at all. Because we have clearly defined that QA is process focused and QC is end-product focused. And as discussed, the job of the Quality Assurance team would be to prevent various issues such as defects, bugs, etc. and also ensuring that any kind of related issue doesn’t occur in future.
On the other hand, the team of Quality control has a different set of duties to look into. QC have to ensure that everything is working fine or else they need to think of ways to fix the issues that are occurring. They have to see how the quality of the product or the service that the organization provides can be improvised. QC’s largely need to take care of the quality factor of the products.
The only similarity between the two of them is that both of them belong to the Quality Management team. QA and QC can be called as powerful techniques that are used to ensure that whatever the organisation/company delivers is excellent in terms of quality and that it meets the customer’s expectations adequately.
We hope that this write-up would have helped you clear the confusion between the QA vs QC.
Max Troy is the Career Counsellor as well as a passionate Author. Well, he has years of experience in the Career and Jobs industry. As a part of his career at OPTnation, he helped various OPT and CPT candidates to shape their Career. Through his knowledge and writing skill, he is contributing to the students to find the best Career advice and immigration topics. Do share the information if you like it.