Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control?

Quality assurance is a broad process for preventing quality failures. The QA team is involved in all stages of a product’s development: production, testing, packaging, and delivery. In contrast, quality control (QC) is a narrower process. QC focuses on detecting mistakes, errors, or missed requirements in a product.

The two key differences between QA and QC are:

1. QA is proactive vs. QC is reactive.

The QA team operates proactively. They seek to uncover and address the sources of quality problems, such as human error or a business using the wrong materials. Whereas the QC team is reactive, checking the product for mistakes or components not built to specification.

Here is another way to understand this distinction: QC seeks to catch quality errors, while QA seeks to uncover and fix the issues that lead to quality errors.

2. QC takes place after development, while QA is ongoing.

The QC team performs their tests after the product team has built the product. So they are looking only to catch errors and bugs before the company makes the product available to customers. On the other hand, the QA team is working throughout the development process, making sure each aspect of the product is on track to deliver a high-quality customer experience.

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