The answer is no.

Quality assurance is not the same as quality control. We often hear individuals (incorrectly) use these terms interchangeably. We like to think of quality assurance in terms of preventing defects from occurring and quality control as detecting defects once they have already occurred but hopefully before the customer obtains the product or service.


Quality Assurance – a set of activities throughout the process to prevent defects from occurring
Quality Control – various steps and checks to detect an error or defect

Basic Simple Example:

Let’s use our “Making Biscuits Process” from one of our earlier blog post. What would be a good example for quality assurance and quality control on this process?

Quality assurance activity: Developing a written procedure on how to make biscuits; Developing a standard for the appearance and taste of all biscuits

Quality control activity: Testing (Tasting) the biscuits to determine if they met the standard before sharing the biscuits with customers.

Check out these other interesting links on the difference between quality assurance and quality control:

Branner Consulting, LLC can help you at any stage along your journey from process documentation to implementing process improvement projects. We also provide coaching and training in Six Sigma and Lean methodologies.