Definition Quality Control vs Quality Assurance - Differences or Semantics

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PaulJSmith

#1
Old argument, I know...but I'd like to get some Covers' perspectives on this. Is it so important that there's a difference, or is it just so much semantics?

ASQ describes it thusly:
Quality Assurance: The planned and systematic activities implemented in a quality system so that quality requirements for a product or service will be fulfilled.
Quality Control: The observation techniques and activities used to fulfill requirements for quality.

And, of course, The Cove has offered this:
http://elsmar.com/pdf_files/QC%20vs%20QA.pdf

What say you?
 
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statdoug

#2
Just an opinion, but my feeling is that it is really both semantics and a critical distinction. I date back to days before many industries had made the distinction. Quality in those days was largely concerned with detection of defects. Sampling plans, first article inspection, and end-of-line inspection were the basic functions of the Quality Department. The sole purpose was really to try to find the defects in the process. Quality Assurance deals much more with altering the process to build the defects out (including alteration of the management processes that used to condone or encourage the acceptance of defectives). The distinction is significant, and it is, like most cultural changes, slowly but definitely changing the attitudes throughout industry.
 

Ajit Basrur

Staff member
Admin
#3
Old argument, I know...but I'd like to get some Covers' perspectives on this. Is it so important that there's a difference, or is it just so much semantics?

ASQ describes it thusly:
Quality Assurance: The planned and systematic activities implemented in a quality system so that quality requirements for a product or service will be fulfilled.
Quality Control: The observation techniques and activities used to fulfill requirements for quality.

And, of course, The Cove has offered this:
http://elsmar.com/pdf_files/QC%20vs%20QA.pdf

What say you?
Hi Paul,

We have lots of posts differentiating between these two ... it also depends on which industry are you referring. Like for Pharmaceuticals, the distinction is well maintained.

FDA says " Historically, "quality control" has meant inspection and test which, although the primary mechanisms for detecting defects, only set aside nonconforming product and do not prevent the deficiency which caused the defect. Quality assurance activities are intended to prevent the production of non-conforming products and include quality control activities"
 
#4
Quality Control and Quality Assurance are distinct and different. Look at ISO 9000 - the vocabulary document. To put the two together and dismiss them as semantics is folly.

Quality control is usually associated with inspection, test and checking of product/process with specifications. Quality Assurance is a higher level of control, normally done in response to a request from a customer - hence "assurance" and its synonym - confidence.

Quality Assurance come from the other things that make QC effective - calibration of the inspection equipment, document control of the specifications, work instructions (controlled) for the QC people and so on. I covered this in my book "Exploding the Myths Surrounding ISO9000"
 
K

kgott

#5
Quality Control and Quality Assurance are distinct and different. Look at ISO 9000 - the vocabulary document. To put the two together and dismiss them as semantics is folly."
Andy is right on the nail, ISO 9000 is a very useful document for all quality related people.
 
S

sridharafep

#6
Need good synergy required between QA and QC. (If they are separate function in an org.)

QA and QC is part of QMS.

Calibration of equipments is part of QA or QC activity?
 

Big Jim

Super Moderator
#7
It might be said that ISO 9001 drives QA while an inspection system drives QC.

To drive QC, the emphasis is on inspection while driving QA involves the entire company.

If only QC were to be emphasized we would only need a few sections of ISO 9001 (some of 7.5, 7.6, 8.2.4, and 8.3). QA requires all of the rest of ISO 9001.
 

The Taz!

Quite Involved in Discussions
#10
Just to put a twist in this thread. . . if there is no Quality Assurance (Work done up front), any hint of control will be quite coincidental or acc:notme:idental!
 
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