How Do Quality Assurance and Quality Control Differ?

In the world of construction, you’ll frequently find that the terms “quality assurance” and “quality control” seem to be used interchangeably in many settings, regarding the processes used to ensure the consistent quality of a product or service. However, these terms actually refer to two different concepts.

Here’s some information from a construction manager in Indiana about how they differ.

Quality assurance

The big difference in the two terms is the word “assurance” versus the word “control.” “Assurance” is defined as “the act of giving confidence” or “the act of making certain.” Therefore, “quality assurance” can be defined as being all of the systems that are put into place to ensure a specific product or service will be delivered to the level of quality expected.

Quality assurance is primarily about understanding all of the aspects that go into the ability to achieve quality with a particular product. When talking about construction projects, construction managers must be able to develop a plan that meets all of the company’s requirements to assure the quality of a finished product.

Quality control

The word “control” is defined as being “the act of guiding a process in which variability is attributable to a constant system of chance causes.” This is a bit more of a sophisticated definition than that of the word “assurance.”

Given this definition of “control,” we can then define “quality control” as being the various observation techniques and actions that are put into place to fulfill quality requirements.

This means the primary difference between quality assurance and quality control is that quality assurance refers to the entire system put into place to ensure the repeatable quality of a product or service. Quality control, meanwhile, is the actual act of ensuring that quality and monitoring the work as it occurs. Basically, people who work in the area of quality control are those who are tasked with carrying out a “quality assurance” plan.

Both of these issues are crucial if a company is going to successfully and reliably be able to repeat a certain level of quality with its products or services. For this reason, companies must spend plenty of time brainstorming, developing and implementing quality assurance structures before production can actually begin on products or before they can start delivering their services. It is not just the product or service itself, but rather how that product or service is delivered, that determines the long-term success and viability of a business. It is possible to deliver a great product or service but have horrible processes in place—however, this is generally unsustainable, and a big reason why it’s so important to have quality assurance and control elements in place as part of your fulfillment system.

For more information about the specific steps our construction managers in Indiana take to ensure the quality of our construction projects, contact ACMS Group today. Our company has been serving commercial and industrial clients for over two decades, and we bring significant expertise to every project we take on.

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