QA vs QC: Custom Introduction

Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) may seem like the same or nearly the same terms for many people, however, they are not. Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) are crucial to ensure compliance with necessary regulations and manufacture the best quality products. 

Both sets of activities are a significant part of the Total Quality Management System relevant to pretty much any industry but especially Pharmaceutical, Biotech, and Medical Devices industries. 

All the differences between the two terms can be seen in the infographic at the end of an article. 

An easy way to differentiate Quality Assurance and Quality Control would be to look at the nature and the focus of both sets of processes. For instance, Quality Assurance (QA) aims to prevent defects before they happen. This means that such a set of activities live throughout the whole product development lifecycle. Moreover, this makes Quality Assurance (QA) a proactive action, as it focuses to lower the number of product defects continuously. 

On the other hand, Quality Control (QC) focuses to find any possible flaws in the product, therefore a set of QC activities check the quality of a product or any production output. Quality Control (QC) typically is placed within the testing stages of the product manufacturing life cycle. This makes the Quality Control (QC) a reactive process in nature. Furthermore, activities related to Quality Control (QC) are usually done after any Quality Assurance (QA) related procedure. 

Speaking of QA and QC activities, here are some examples. 

Quality Assurance related activities are the following: 

  • Supplier Management 
  • Training Management 
  • Following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) 

At the same time, typical Quality Control (QC) activities are: 

  • Any testing processes 
  • Inspections 
  • Product sampling  

To see more differences between Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) see the infographic below.


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