The Main Difference between Quality Control and Quality Assurance

The phrases quality control and quality assurance are at times used interchangeably.  They are very different, with each term clearly defining certain functions in the overall process used by businesses seeking to manage and maintain the highest degree of excellence.

Quality Control is focused on the initiation of the evaluation process, while quality assurance is focused on managing the process to ensure the stipulated business goals are realized within the set period of time.

This is particularly true when it comes to the internal operations of a company and how the operations result in the production of services and/or goods that meet set standards, and more importantly, meet consumer needs. As such, it is normally good to think of these two terms as logical phases in the general process of delivering something valuable to the end users.

Quality assurance starts with the definition of procedures, rules and policies that govern the selection and use of raw materials for the manufacturing process. This phase also deals with the development of a practical production plan that ensures the goods being produced each step of the way are within schedule and that they meet the set standards.

After setting the ball rolling with a clearly defined target, continuous quality assurance deals with evaluating the operational structure in use, including the evaluation of raw materials, and establishing whether the process needs adjustments or it can be adapted in a way to help improve the value of the resulting products or services.

Quality control, on the other hand, can be described as the process of ensuring a certain set level of excellence in a service or product is met. In other words, the process ensures that the services, products, or processes employed meet set requirements and are reliable, satisfactory, and economically sound.

Basically, the process involves the examination of a service, product, or process for specific minimum levels of grades of excellence. The main role that the evaluation team is tasked with is to identify the services or products that do not meet the specified degree of excellence. Should a problem be identified along the way, the team can temporarily halt the production until corrections are made.

It should be mentioned that it is not the responsibility of the professional or team doing the evaluation to correct substandard issues that may arise. Their work is just to identify them, and the relevant authorities will see to it that corrections are made so as to continue with the production process.

What excellence control does is to ensure that the processes implemented during the assurance phase are being utilized. As such, the team or professional doing the checks may be tasked with looking at how raw materials are handled and used, and identifying potential points of contamination or some other hitch in the process that could compromise on the value and superiority of the product being produced.

The main goal here is to ensure the production team works within the set order so the company meets its goals of producing valuable products or services. This completes the overall mission that both quality control and quality assurance are meant to accomplish.