Difference between QA and QC

Key difference: QA and QC are both concerned with the quality of products. ‘Quality Assurance’ is process orientated and it focuses on defect prevention, whereas ‘Quality Control’ is product oriented and focuses on defect identification.

Quality is an important factor when it comes to any product or service. With the high market competition, manufacturers and service providers are constantly enhancing their product or service quality. In order to maintain the quality of the products, manufacturers use two techniques, quality control and quality assurance. These two practices make sure that the end product or the service meets the quality requirements and the defined standards of the market. 

The term QA stands for ‘Quality Assurance’. QA is a process or a set of processes which is used to measure and assure the quality of a product. It aims to prevent defects, as it simply focuses on the process which is used to make the products. This process is meant for achieving and improving quality. It can be said that it is process orientated.

The goal of QA is to improve and develop the test processes, so that defects do not arise when the product is being developed. It does so by establishing a good quality management system and assessing its adequacy. It prevents quality problems through planned and systematic activities. There are periodic performance audits and complete documentation of operations taking place in the system.

The QA uses a number of tools for enhancing the quality practices. These tools vary from simple techniques to sophisticated software systems. These tools are applied to process inputs and operational parameters of a process. Therefore, a constant effort is made to enhance the quality of a process and continuous improvements are expected in the quality functions of a process.

The term QC stands for ‘Quality Control’. It is a set of activities which helps to ensure the quality in products. These activities focus on identifying and correcting the defects in the finished products. This process aims at meeting consumer expectations of products and services. QC is product orientated.

QC is used to verify the quality of the output product. The goal is to identify the defects after the product is developed and before it is released. It begins by identifying the defect and correcting the defect, thereby continuously eliminating the source of quality problems.

QC uses a number of tools for verifying the quality of products. It uses a software application to check for defects in the finished products. These techniques are used to achieve and maintain the product quality, process and service. The statistical tools and techniques are used in process outputs and help to make sure that the customer’s requirements are continually met.

Comparison between QA and QC:





It is a set of activities which help to determine the quality of a process, by which the products are developed.

It is a set of activities which ensures quality in the manufactured products.


It is an activity that establishes and evaluates the production process of the products.

It is an activity that verifies if the product meets pre-defined standards.


It helps to establish the processes.

It implements the process.


It sets up measurement programs to evaluate processes.

It verifies the specific attributes in a specific product or service.



It identifies the weaknesses in processes and improves them.

It identifies defects for the primary purpose of correcting defects.



QA is the responsibility of the entire team.

QC is the responsibility of the tester.



Prevents the introduction of issues or defects.

Detects, reports and corrects defects.


It is done before Quality Control.

It is done only after Quality Assurance is completed.


It is a human based checking of documents or files.

It is a computer based execution of program or code.

Level activity

It can catch error and mistakes that QC cannot catch, that is why it is considered as a low level activity.

It can catch an error that QA cannot catch, that is why considered as a high level activity.


It is a managerial tool.

It is a corrective tool.


It is not considered as a time consuming activity.

It is always considered as a time consuming activity.


Quality Assurance means planning done for doing a process.

Quality Control means action has taken on the process by execute them.


QA improves the process that is applied to multiple products that will ever be produced by a process.

QC improves the development of a specific product or service.


QA is considered as Pro-active, because it means to identify the weaknesses in the processes.

QC is considered as reactive, because it means to identify and correct the defects.


QA personnel may perform quality control to validate that the system is working.

QC personnel may perform quality assurance tasks if and when required.



Validation or software testing.

Image Courtesy: jemcables.com, trade.indiamart.com

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