Thursday, April 30, 2015

Quality Assurance or Quality Control

by Dale Arter

Our last blog focused on what a quality system is, and the benefits of having one. We discovered that quality can be defined as basically stating what is required, and a quality management system can be partially defined as the procedures that will cause consistent manufacture of quality products and/or services. Many organizations have a quality manual, but do they know how to use it effectively? If a quality system is not understood or measured, it can be ineffective, causing a loss of efficiency and inconsistent quality in the final product. NTA wants to help remove some of the confusion regarding Quality Assurance versus Quality Control.
Two main parts of a quality system are:
  • Quality Assurance
  • Quality Control

Often, they are referred to as the same thing, although they are each very different parts of quality management:
  • Quality Assurance (QA)  is the process of managing to obtain quality output
  • Quality Control (QC) is used to measure and verify the quality of the output
In order to successfully ensure a consistent, quality outcome, every project needs both.

The difference between QA and QC might best be described as a cyclical process. Starting with Quality Assurance, which you then test by Quality Control. The results of Quality Control allow you to refine your Quality Assurance guidelines further.

Quality Assurance can help you to avoid defects from the beginning.

When you plan and document a set of guidelines that will help to assure a quality outcome at the beginning of a project, you are implementing a proactive practice to reduce the risks that were identified during the specification stage. It is a form of forward thinking management that is used to ensure the required level of quality.

Quality Control verifies the quality of the output meets the required levels.

When you inspect and test your final product, or verify that the processes are followed, you can identify root issues, and create guidelines (back to Quality Assurance) to eliminate those problems. Each cycle of quality assurance and quality control allows for continuous product and organizational improvement. 

When it comes to the code compliance and quality of your building products NTA is accredited to evaluate and certify product and your quality control system to help you succeed.  Contact NTA today.

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