5 Key Differences Between Quality Control vs. Quality Assurance

Quality Control (QC) and Quality Assurance (QA) are vital for ensuring top-notch products. Although these terms are often used interchangeably, they have distinct meanings and serve different purposes. In this blog, we’ll explain the difference between QC and QA. We will focus on their goals, methods, and contributions to delivering excellent products.

What is Quality Control? (QC)

QC involves carefully examining and testing products at various production stages. Its main goal is to identify and fix defects, deviations, or inconsistencies that may occur during manufacturing. By closely monitoring the output, QC prevents imperfect products from reaching customers. In short, QC is about spotting and resolving issues to meet predetermined quality standards.

What is Quality Assurance? (QA)

On the other hand, QA is a comprehensive approach that focuses on preventing defects and ensuring quality throughout the entire product development process. QA includes processes, procedures, and guidelines to establish a strong quality management system. It involves strategic planning, documentation, and continuous improvement to lay a solid foundation for quality. QA emphasizes proactive measures to reduce errors and defects, instilling confidence in the reliability and consistency of products.

Key Differences:

1. Purpose:

  • QC: Identifying and fixing defects in products.
  • QA: Ensuring quality through system implementation.

2. Timing:

  • QC: Conducted during or after production.
  • QA: Implemented throughout product development.

3. Focus:

  • QC: Inspecting and testing products for compliance with standards.
  • QA: Preventing defects through process implementation and improvement.

4. Approach:

  • QC: Reactive approach, addressing existing issues.
  • QA: Proactive approach, preventing issues from arising.

5. Scope:

  • QC: Limited to inspecting and testing finished products.
  • QA: Covers all aspects of product development and quality management.

Remember, while QC addresses quality issues, QA focuses on its root causes, making them essential components of successful quality management systems.

Quality Assurance in Mystery Shopping

QA is an important step in mystery shopping: the data collected needs to be reviewed, edited, or sent back if the need arises. For example, if a mystery shopper managed to meet all requirements, like attaching photo/video evidence to their report. With software like Checker QA is one of the thought-through steps in the project’s management: the task of assuring data quality can be assigned separately or inside the team, data can be viewed and edited, together with the attached files, and the shopper can be contacted directly for alterations. Checker helps to make the process as easy and efficient as possible.