Difference between quality assurance and quality control

Quality assurance and quality control are two aspects of quality management. While some quality assurance and quality control activities are interrelated, the two are defined differently.

According to ISO 9000:2015: Quality management systems—Fundamentals and vocabulary:

Quality assurance consists of that “part of quality management focused on providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled.” The confidence provided by quality assurance is twofold—internally to management and externally to customers, government agencies, regulators, certifiers, and third parties.

Quality control is that “part of quality management focused on fulfilling quality requirements.”

While quality assurance relates to how a process is performed or how a product is made, quality control is more the inspection aspect of quality management.

Inspection is the process of measuring, examining, and testing to gauge one or more characteristics of a product or service and the comparison of these with specified requirements to determine conformity. Products, processes, and various other results can be inspected to make sure that the object coming off a production line, or the service being provided, is correct and meets specifications.

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