In this fiercely competitive era, every enterprise wants to meet standards of excellence. They work effortlessly to maintain high standards of the final products. Also, they try to meet customers’ expectations. To succeed in maintaining high standards and high expectations, they rely on quality management. 

Quality management comprises of two important terms:

  1. Quality Control
  2. Quality Assurance

Quality assurance and quality control are two closely related terms. In short, these terms are inseparable. They interrelate to aspects of quality management. Thus, they are often confused with each other. Both meet consumer expectations and ensure the quality delivery of the final product. Also, they both work towards eliminating defects. Further, they help to gain customers’ loyalty and meet the standards of the company. Together, they behave as two sides of the same coin and contribute towards the same goal. 

Companies that deliver products with quality control and quality assurance have:

  • loyal customers
  • reliable production procedure
  • faster turnaround times
  • reduced production and inspection cost
  • effective utilization of resources
  • improved techniques and methods of production
  • increased sales
  • high employee morale

These terms are interchangeable. Yet, they have got distinct differences between them. 

Before differentiating between them, let’s understand what quality assurance and quality control mean.

What is Quality Assurance?

Quality Assurance is the maintenance of service or product quality, especially by considering all stages of the delivery or manufacturing process. It reviews the processes and makes amendments before delivering the final quality product. Further, it ensures that the product meets the required goal and standards. 

Operations like systematic measurements, comparisons with standards, and process monitoring eliminate errors. Unlike quality assurance, quality control focuses on product output.

QA proves to be beneficial in every aspect. It helps the following field of work: 

1)Medicine

In medicine, QA is a necessity as it helps in identifying the standards of medical devices. The equipment used in hospitals and laboratories; all meet the standards of medicine. Be it X-ray equipment, diagnostic radiology, or AERB. QA is suitable for the development and introduction of new drugs and medical devices.

2) Aerospace field

QA assurance in the aerospace field is important as it delivers fine aircraft. There is a common link between QA and Product Assurance, Project management. Quality Assurance is part of Product assurance. 

3) Software Development

Software quality assurance is the process of tracking software processes. Also, it aids in maintaining good quality software. It complies with standards like ISO 25010 and models such as CMMI and SPICE to ensure good quality. Corporate quality control software fixes errors like quality control failures.

Quality Assurance VS. Quality Control

What is Quality Control?

Quality control means investigating a product or service and verifying the results. The term ‘control’ describes the fifth phase of the DMAIC. DMAIC is the abbreviation of definition, measurement, analysis, improvement, and control. DMAIC is a data-driven strategy to improve processes. Quality control makes sure that the final product is of good quality.

Quality control determines and tests the units. It ensures that they are within the specifications of the final product. The quality control used by companies is product or industry-dependent. The food industry uses quality control to gain customers’ loyalty. So, they don’t get sick of their products. Quality control prevents defective or damaged products from reaching customers. It takes corrective actions before delivering the product. Good quality control helps businesses meet consumer demand for better products.

Methods of Quality Control:

 There are four methods of Quality Control:

  1. X-bar Chart: It tracks the tested samples on the x-axis, and the y-axis tracks the degree to which variance of the tested attribute is acceptable. The resulting pattern of the variance helps in determining whether the defects are systematic or random.
  2. Six Sigma: It discovers and eliminates defects to improve products, services, and processes.
  3. Inspection mode: It inspects and assesses the final product for defects.
  4. Taguchi method: It tries to eliminate variances in production before they can occur. 

Differences between Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Quality assurance is a preventive technique that targets eliminating mistakes. So, quality control is a corrective technique that fixes defects. Quality assurance takes proactive measures, unlike QC. In contrast to QA, the quality control processes take reactive measures. 

Quality assurance deals with the processes required to make the final product. But, quality controls inspect the final product, which meets all the requirements. QA has those operating mechanisms that aid in managing the quality of the product. So, QA verifies the standard of the product and fixes the defects.

QA involves the whole staff in the development of the product. In QC, a specific team manages the finalization of the end product. Statistical Quality Control (SQC) utilizes all statistical tools and techniques. As a result, it becomes part of QA. Statistical Process Control (SPC) utilizes statistical tools and techniques. It also becomes part of QA. 

Take away

In short, quality control focuses on identifying and fixing problems. It ensures to do the right thing. While quality assurance guarantees that the results are as expected. They both influence the overall success of the business as it prevents mistakes in the future process. Both help to create a safe working environment and ensure product safety. Although they are different, both of them are the center of quality management. 

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