Differences Between Quality Assurance and Quality Control

It is easy to become puzzled by the distinction between Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC). Some people use the terms synonymously, but there is a significant difference between QA and QC.

Let’s read this article and understand what are the differences between Quality Assurance and Quality Control.

Quality assurance and quality control are both important components of quality management and play an essential and distinct role in the health of life sciences companies.

QA focuses on defect prevention, whereas QC focuses on defect detection.

Understanding those roles can assist your organization in mastering each one to provide the best products.

Quality standards require both QA and QC processes, but understanding the distinction between the two is critical. They are often considered synonymous, but they are two distinct processes that occur at separate moments.

Let’s see a short definition for both QA and QC.

Quality Assurance (QA): It refers to all of the activities in your plan that make sure your product is ready for the software development process. You’re ensuring that the quality standards you designed for will be met as the products are produced.

 *Read more about Quality Assurance

Quality control (QC): This is the quality assurance evaluation stage. It is a set of tests used to ensure that a product is effective and safe after mass manufacturing.

Agile, Six Sigma, and other project management or process continuous improvement are examples of QA and QC methodologies.

Differences between QA and QC

To better understand the distinctions between quality assurance and quality control, you need to know how the two processes interact.

(QA)Proactive and (QC) Reactive

Quality assurance is proactive, and it focuses on preventing defects from occurring through the process design. Quality Control is a reactive function that exists to identify defects in product quality after they have occurred.

QA entails process design, such as documenting standard operating procedures (SOPs) by ISO 9000 standards. Each time procedures are followed, a secure, effective product should become the result.

QC includes testing products to make sure they meet safety and efficacy requirements. If QC testing reveals quality issues, corrective actions should be taken to avoid an unsecured product from being sent out and distributed.

(QA) Process and (QC) Product

To better understand the difference between these two, think of QA as the action and QC as the result. Quality assurance is involved with the actions that result in the product, while quality control is involved with the final product.

Some of the QA Processes involve:

  • Documentation
  • Audits
  • Investigation procedures
  • Supplier management
  • Change control
  • Personnel training

And some of the QC Procedures are:

  • Software testing
  • Validation testing
  • Batch inspection
  • Product sampling
  • Laboratory testing

(QA) Creation and (QC) Verification

(QA) Creation involves establishing guidelines for product design, manufacturing, distribution, and marketing.

(QC) Verification entails confirming the safety and efficacy of products after they have been developed and before they are distributed.

(QA) System and (QC) Parts

Quality assurance control systems are the practices and procedures used to ensure quality requirements.

Quality control systems measure parts, including system outputs. QC efforts may also be directed toward components used in the finished product.

Supporting System for QA and QC

Incorporating an Electronic Quality Management System (eQMS) can help with Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC). Because of fundamental QMS elements, such a system can prevent, identify, and verify issues.

Here is a list of some QMS fundamental elements:

  • eSignatures
  • SOP Management
  • CAPA Management
  • Document Control
  • Supplier Management
  • Training Management
  • Template Management
  • Equipment Management

Quality Assurance and Quality Control in the Quality Management System

Quality Management System (QMS) aims to optimize output quality, which is why both QA and QC are the foundation of a QMS. “Continuous improvement,” one of the ISO-9001 fundamentals, also implies that progress in Quality Assurance never ends.

QA and QC Life Cycle and Duration

Quality Assurance (QA) is a medium- to a long-term process that occurs during product development.

Quality Control (QC) is a much-shortened activity that occurs during the final stages of production. As a result, you should strategize such a set of QA activities all through the development life cycle. QC procedures are typically placed at the testing life cycle.

Both QA and QC are distinct and necessary components of quality management. They should not be considered interchangeable terms. QA is concerned with the process, whereas QC is concerned with the end product.

To sum it up, Quality assurance does not remove the necessity of Quality Control because QC is at the root of Quality management.

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