Quality Assurance

A Quality assurance specialist ensures that the final product observes the company’s quality standards. In general, these detail-oriented professionals are responsible for the development and implementation of inspection activities, the detection and resolution of problems, and the delivery of satisfactory outcomes

Quality assurance can be defined as “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. An alternate definition is “all the planned and systematic activities implemented within the quality system that can be demonstrated to provide confidence that a product or service will fulfill requirements for quality.”

Quality assurance has a defined cycle called PDCA cycle or Deming cycle. The phases of this cycle are:

  • Plan
  • Do
  • Check
  • Act

These above steps are repeated to ensure that processes followed in the organization are evaluated and improved on a periodic basis.  –

      • Plan – Organization should plan and establish the process related objectives and determine the processes that are required to deliver a high-Quality end product.
      • Do – Development and testing of Processes and also “do” changes in the processes
      • Check – Monitoring of processes, modify the processes, and check whether it meets the predetermined objectives
      • Act – Implement actions that are necessary to achieve improvements in the processes

An organization must use Quality Assurance to ensure that the product is designed and implemented with correct procedures. This helps reduce problems and errors, in the final product.

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. Typically, QA activities and responsibilities cover virtually all of the quality system in one fashion or another, while QC is a subset of the QA activities. Also, elements in the quality system might not be specifically covered by QA/QC activities and responsibilities but may involve QA and QC.

Difference between Quality Control and Quality Assurance

Sometimes, QC is confused with the QA. Quality control is to examine the product or service and check for the result. Quality assurance is to examine the processes and make changes to the processes which led to the end-product.

Examples of QC and QA activities are as follows:

 

Quality Control Activities Quality Assurance Activities
Walkthrough Quality Audit
Testing Defining Process
Inspection Tool Identification and selection
Checkpoint review Training of Quality Standards and Processes
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