What is Quality Assurance and Quality Control and Its Differences?

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Some are asking “What is Quality Assurance?” and “What is Quality Control?” Well! Let us discuss clearly one by one and in detail so that we eventually understand what are its differences?

There are various meanings of Quality Assurance and Quality Control but here are the best I’ve been able to find and best fit for us as QA/QC Engineers in the Construction Industry.


But before going through let me define the “Quality” first because the word Quality is a foundation of what we call “Quality Assurance and Quality Control.”

What is Quality?
The meaning of Quality is explained in my previous post please click here.

Quality is a measure of excellence or a state of being free from defects, deficiencies, and significant variations, brought about by the strict and consistent adherence to measurable and verifiable standards to achieve uniformity of output that satisfies specific customer or user requirements.

Let’s give the differences between Quality Assurance and Quality Control. We will show samples of QA and QC actions on the below tabulations.

Quality Assurance

  • The planned and systematic activities implemented in a quality system so that quality requirements for a product or service will be fulfilled.
  • Means of providing confidence that quality requirements will be met.

Quality Control

  • The observation techniques and activities used to fulfill the requirement for quality.
  • Mechanism used, such as checks or tests that are performed to ensure that requirements are met.
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Here are six samples that we can see the differences between Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Quality Assurance versus Quality Control

ItemQuality Assurance, QAQuality Control, QC
1. Project ProcurementQA provided Scope of Work, Conditions of Contract, Specification.QC is to adopt and follow what are the requirements in the Scope of work, Condition of Contract, Specification. And to execute the project as per such standards in no more no less.

QC shall make sure that all works to be executed as per standards and drawings.
2. DrawingQA ensures drawings are submitted and approved by the Local Authorities and or Engineer for site application.QC will conduct periodical checks of revisions and issue log of drawings to staff to update them for the new revisions. QC will withdraw uncontrolled copy of drawings.
3. MaterialsQA is to make sure materials is submitted via Material Approval Request (MAR) and shall ensure compliance of specification.QC is to Monitor the latest revision of Material Approval Request (MAR) by acquiring material log sheet from Document Control. QC is to check materials upon arrival on site to verify compliance from the approved MAR. QC is to conduct site surveillance for the materials used on site.
4. Document ControllerQA to record the outgoing and incoming of the materials submittal or MAR, Drawings and Related Documents and make sure recorded it in log sheets. Document controlling process or procedure set out in the company procedures shall be followed.QC shall make sure that such documents are stamped and filed in a manner that it can be searchable. When placed in box files make sure clearly labeled.

QC shall stamped drawings with "Controlled Copy" for the latest revision and otherwise stamped as "Superseded". Drawing shall Stamped "Issued for Construction" when released for site use.
5. QA/QC Engineer Example: Ceramic tile Material
QA shall make sure that material has MAR approved.
QC shall issue a Material Inspection for checking with the Engineer. QC shall verify the size, thickness, colour shade and the supplier. Requirements from approved MAR shall be verified by means of such physical check.
6. Site ActivityQA is concern with the fabrication of Method Statement, Inspection and Test Plan including Checklist for each activity in order to meet the requirements.QC is to check and verify the activity, material and tests by means of Inspections as detailed in the MS and ITP. Stages of activity that will satisfy standard or requirements shall be written on Checklist.
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  3. The Quality Assurance And Quality Control Reports
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If you follow these principles of quality assurance and quality control you won’t be lost in the journey of your project. It is advised to ensure and establish necessary documents in your project first by collecting thru the technical department. Your technical department is the hub of all project documents.

The technical department is the main source of related documents, may it be drawing, material technical data, contract, etc.

The task of a quality engineer is to ensure that all documents are approved by the approving party may it be consultant or client or representative of the client.

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A quality engineer should raise concerns to the management if the materials used on site found no approved documents which is what we called materials approval request or material submittal.

The quality control engineer then should make sure that all works on site shall be as per approved documents. If a completed activity does not follow from the approved drawing or material submittal then an issue will be raised by way of nonconformance report.

Hoping the above post has helped you understand the differences between quality assurance and quality control.

If you have suggestions and supplements on the above post, you are free to share or leave your reply below.

Featured image courtesy of kliverap/hxc.hu

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