In the manufacturing sector, implementing even some elements of quality control and
quality assurance can enable companies to save on money, time, effort and resources to a
great extent. Now, what are quality control and quality assurance all about?
Both these processes can lead to faster turnaround times, production of high-quality
products and reinforcing positive relationships with their customers. Though there is a
difference between quality control and quality assurance, the ultimate goal of both
processes is customer satisfaction.
While both processes are parts of overall quality management in a company, quality
assurance focuses on ensuring that all quality prerequisites are fulfilled. The focus of quality
control is to fulfill all quality requirements. Quality assurance deals with the processes
involved in developing the product. The actual inspection part of quality management is
what quality control is all about.
QA stands for Quality Assurance whereas QC stands for Quality Control. Quality assurance
and quality control are two completely different but key aspects of quality management.
Some of the activities that fall under both processes could be interrelated but quality
control is a subset of quality assurance activities. Quality assurance process makes sure that
all the functions necessary to achieve the required quality are carried out. Quality control,
on the other hand, is practically ensuring that product quality is maintained.
Though the goal of both quality control and quality assurance is to improve product quality,
there are some major differences between them. Here is our pick of the top 5 points to
discuss on quality control vs quality assurance:
1. Quality assurance is a proactive process that deals with defining a framework to
reduce errors or prevent defects. Quality control is a reactive process used to find
defects in product quality so corrective actions can be taken. QA happens in the
product development phase and QC after the product is produced.
2. Quality assurance is process-oriented while quality control is product-oriented. The
former focuses on steps to improve quality and the latter focuses on the finished
3. Quality assurance predominantly deals with procedures defined under ISO standards
and/or regulatory requirements; quality control checks parts or the outputs of a
system used to turn around the final product.
4. Quality assurance handles the defined standards for every production step, right
from design to sales. Quality control handles all the measuring activities that
ascertain if the product is fit to be distributed.
5. Quality assurance falls under the responsibility of the whole team in the quality
department of a company whereas quality control has some dedicated personnel
inside the company that follows set procedures to do quality control product
It is a given that products and services belonging to every industry adhere to a certain level
of quality to meet customer expectations. There can be numerous quality assurance
examples, especially in the manufacturing sector. Any company that makes use of systems
to maintain standard operating procedures, predefined tasks and other key steps to ensure
quality is taking part in quality assurance activities.
Companies that check machine information for errors using specially designed software like
High-Frequency Data Collector are engaging in quality assurance. When machine functioning
is problematic, this can lead to production turnaround issues and huge wastage in the form
of scrap parts.
Companies using predictive maintenance methods to continuously monitor the machines
even before a problem arises is a quality assurance example. Doing this proactively can
prevent quality control issues or the production of low-quality products or product parts.
A quality control example in manufacturing could entail every activity that focuses on
inspecting, checking or monitoring the finished product to identify defects, if any. Unlike
quality assurance, which is independent of manufacturing and operations, quality control
always resides within manufacturing and operations.
Quality control examples can be seen in every industry.
● An FMCG company tests a food or juice product from each batch to ensure
consistency in color, weight, texture or even taste so there is uniformity across the
● A retail store doing a quality check on the products that are on display or one that
tests the efficacy of their customer service.
● A car manufacturer runs a series of tests on their automatic and manual versions.
● A pharma company does quality checks of the outer packaging or seals of medicines.
Both quality control and quality assurance are important aspects of quality management. A
good understanding of the difference between quality control and quality assurance is
necessary for delivering exceptional customer service. Products or services that do not meet
quality standards can affect the reputation of a company. A successful company is one
where quality control and quality assurance processes are well implemented. You can also
use third-party inspection services of companies like Global Inspection Managing to handle
quality control and quality assurance for your products.
As a global quality assurance firm, we work with clients in a broad range of industries –
everything from fresh produce to textiles and manufacturing and even the provision of lab
testing services, certifications, audit services and inspection services.