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Quality Assurance vs Quality Control - What's the Difference?

Quality Assurance vs Quality Control - What's the Difference?


The terms “quality assurance” and “quality control” are often used in the same way regarding the quality of a product and/ or service. However, the terms have different meanings.


Assurance: The act of making something certain.

Quality Assurance: A term used within the Life Sciences industry to describe the standards of how a product is developed.

Control: The act of guiding a process in which changeability is accredited to a constant system of chance causes.

Quality Control: The reflection, methods, and actions used to fulfill requirements for quality.


What is Quality Assurance?

Quality Assurance (QA) refers to the process used to create the product deliverables, this process can even be performed by clients, managers, and other outside parties. Examples of quality assurance include process specifications, project inspections, practices and the development of standards.  QA is a set of actions for certifying the process’ quality through which products are established. QA is a proactive process in which it intends to avert flaws while also having a focus on the procedure used to develop the product. Characteristics of a proactive process comprise of:

  • The setup of a quality management system and the valuation of its competence.
  • The auditing of the operations system periodically.
  • Deterrence of quality problems through intentional and methodical activities including documentation.
  • The development process of the product is the responsibility of all those on the team.


What is Quality Control?

Quality Control (QC) refers to actions that aid in the development of project deliverables. Quality control is used to confirm that the quality of the deliverables is acceptable, complete, and correct. Examples of quality control activities include examination, peer reviews and the testing procedure. QC in a reactive process in which its purpose is to examine and fix the imperfections of the produced product. A specific team is usually responsible for testing the defects of the product.



How Do They Differ?

Quality Assurance activities are identified before work begins on the product and these activities are completed while the product is being developed. In contrast, Quality Control activities are performed after the product has been through the development process.


The Arbour Advantage

As a global leader in regulatory compliance and software testing services to Life Science companies, Arbour Group understands the mission-critical importance of achieving and maintaining a compliant environment. We utilize our proven risk-based methodologies along with regulatory guidance to ensure compliance with industry standards to include 21 CFR Parts 11, 211 and 820, as well as with industry best practices. Our quality assurance services ensure ongoing compliance in a supply chain arena that is becoming more intricate, dispersed and integrated.