Quality Assurance and Quality Control...

Quality Assurance and Quality Control  In present day environment, ‘Quality’ is the focus area for the management of every organization for achieving the success. Quality plays a substantial role on the bottom line of the organization. Two terms related to quality that are frequently being used in the Total Quality Management (TQM) and different quality related standards such as ISO 9001 etc. are ‘Quality Assurance’ (QA) and ‘Quality Control’ (QC). Both QA and QC are the part of one circle under quality management techniques. QA concentrates on defect prevention while QC deals with the detection. This is shown in Fig 1. Fig 1 Circle of QA and QC  The terms of QA and QC are closely related to each other. Both the terms also have the same objectives.  In fact both QA and QC complement each other. They are so interlinked and inter-dependent that many persons find it difficult to distinguish them. QA is process oriented and focuses on defect prevention, while QC is product oriented and focuses on defect identification. There exists a lot of confusion in many organizations with respect to these two terms and the activities associated with them. The intended purpose of both QA and QC is to make the product defect free and ensure that it conforms to the requirements of product specifications. In fact both of these terms have got common objective. However the approach to achieve the objective is different. The route followed by both is also different for achievement of the objective. QA still has QC at its core to control the quality of service/product, but it goes beyond mere testing or inspection to also consider related activities or processes (such as training, document control and audits) that may be resulting in defects further down the line. Both QA and QC are essential for an...