Quality Assurance

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 Control

Quality control can be defined as “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. An alternate definition is “the operational techniques and activities used to fulfill requirements for quality.”

What Is Inspection as it Relates to Quality?

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.

Industry Perspectives on Assurance and Control

For some service organizations, the concept of quality control may be foreign because there is no tangible product to inspect and control. The quality assurance function in a service organization may not include quality control of the service but may include quality control of any products involved in providing the service.

A service may include products that are documents (such as a report, contract, or design) or tangible products (such as a rental car or units of blood). It may be necessary to control product quality in a service organization to ensure that the service meets customer requirements.

Quality Assurance and Audit Functions

Auditing is part of the quality assurance function. It is important to ensure quality because it is used to compare actual conditions with requirements and to report those results to management.

auditing and inspection are not interchangeable: “The auditor may use inspection techniques as an evaluation tool, but the audit should not be involved in carrying out any verification activities leading to the actual acceptance or rejection of a product or service. An audit should be involved with the evaluation of the process and controls covering the production and verification activities.”

Formal management systems have evolved to direct and control organizations. There are quality management systems (QMSs) as well as environmental or other management systems, and each of these systems may be audited.

4 thoughts on “Home

Comments are closed.