The difference between Quality Assurance and Quality Control?

How we help our clients to STOP ticking boxes

How we help our clients to STOP ticking boxes

In case you’re interested… For more strategies on reducing project nonconformity and rework, saving money and time, improving your client relationship and winning more work, check out our free resource library. It’s a one stop shop for fast info to start accelerating...

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Stop Confusing Acceptance Criteria with Tolerance Limits

Stop Confusing Acceptance Criteria with Tolerance Limits

In case you're interested... For more strategies on reducing project nonconformity and rework, saving money and time, improving your client relationship and winning more work, check out our free resource library. It's a one stop shop for fast info to start...

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How we help our clients achieve Project Success

How we help our clients achieve Project Success

In case you’re interested… For more strategies on reducing project nonconformity and rework, saving money and time, improving your client relationship and winning more work, check out our free resource library. It’s a one stop shop for fast info to start accelerating...

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Construction Project Tenders – Getting Started

Construction Project Tenders – Getting Started

If you're an emerging Contractor looking to land your first tender award, this is the article you can't afford to miss! I've worked with Contractor's of all shapes and sizes, from the multi-billion international giants to the small sole traders. To even qualify for...

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Emergency Response Planning: 5 tips for success

Emergency Response Planning: 5 tips for success

Our sunburnt country is currently facing devastating impacts from heavy rain and flooding. Here at IMAS we hope everyone is safe and supported during this heartbreaking time. I myself, along with my neighbours have been trapped on our property for four days now, cut...

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What is risk based thinking?

What is risk based thinking?

Back in 2015 there was a game-changing shift for ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems - Requirements). Everyone was used to the normal Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. Everyone knew they had boxes to tick and processes to follow. And yet...there was still something...

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How to have a better auditor/auditee relationship

How to have a better auditor/auditee relationship

The auditor and auditee relationship is delicate. On one hand, you have a professional who puts their heart and soul into their work that is suddenly up for “examination”. On the other hand, you have a professional who is measuring evidence against requirements. It is...

read more
How we help our clients to STOP ticking boxes

How we help our clients to STOP ticking boxes

In case you’re interested… For more strategies on reducing project nonconformity and rework, saving money and time, improving your client relationship and winning more work, check out our free resource library. It’s a one stop shop for fast info to start accelerating...

read more
Stop Confusing Acceptance Criteria with Tolerance Limits

Stop Confusing Acceptance Criteria with Tolerance Limits

In case you're interested... For more strategies on reducing project nonconformity and rework, saving money and time, improving your client relationship and winning more work, check out our free resource library. It's a one stop shop for fast info to start...

read more
How we help our clients achieve Project Success

How we help our clients achieve Project Success

In case you’re interested… For more strategies on reducing project nonconformity and rework, saving money and time, improving your client relationship and winning more work, check out our free resource library. It’s a one stop shop for fast info to start accelerating...

read more
Construction Project Tenders – Getting Started

Construction Project Tenders – Getting Started

If you're an emerging Contractor looking to land your first tender award, this is the article you can't afford to miss! I've worked with Contractor's of all shapes and sizes, from the multi-billion international giants to the small sole traders. To even qualify for...

read more
What is an effective Assurance Programme?

What is an effective Assurance Programme?

The term "Assurance Programme" gets thrown about quite a bit. Sadly, this is the aspect of the management system that I consistently see ISO 9001 certified organisations struggling with. In this article we'll explore why we need an effective assurance programme and...

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Emergency Response Planning: 5 tips for success

Emergency Response Planning: 5 tips for success

Our sunburnt country is currently facing devastating impacts from heavy rain and flooding. Here at IMAS we hope everyone is safe and supported during this heartbreaking time. I myself, along with my neighbours have been trapped on our property for four days now, cut...

read more
What is risk based thinking?

What is risk based thinking?

Back in 2015 there was a game-changing shift for ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems - Requirements). Everyone was used to the normal Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. Everyone knew they had boxes to tick and processes to follow. And yet...there was still something...

read more
How to have a better auditor/auditee relationship

How to have a better auditor/auditee relationship

The auditor and auditee relationship is delicate. On one hand, you have a professional who puts their heart and soul into their work that is suddenly up for “examination”. On the other hand, you have a professional who is measuring evidence against requirements. It is...

read more
How we help our clients to STOP ticking boxes

How we help our clients to STOP ticking boxes

In case you’re interested… For more strategies on reducing project nonconformity and rework, saving money and time, improving your client relationship and winning more work, check out our free resource library. It’s a one stop shop for fast info to start accelerating...

read more
Stop Confusing Acceptance Criteria with Tolerance Limits

Stop Confusing Acceptance Criteria with Tolerance Limits

In case you're interested... For more strategies on reducing project nonconformity and rework, saving money and time, improving your client relationship and winning more work, check out our free resource library. It's a one stop shop for fast info to start...

read more
How we help our clients achieve Project Success

How we help our clients achieve Project Success

In case you’re interested… For more strategies on reducing project nonconformity and rework, saving money and time, improving your client relationship and winning more work, check out our free resource library. It’s a one stop shop for fast info to start accelerating...

read more
Construction Project Tenders – Getting Started

Construction Project Tenders – Getting Started

If you're an emerging Contractor looking to land your first tender award, this is the article you can't afford to miss! I've worked with Contractor's of all shapes and sizes, from the multi-billion international giants to the small sole traders. To even qualify for...

read more
Emergency Response Planning: 5 tips for success

Emergency Response Planning: 5 tips for success

Our sunburnt country is currently facing devastating impacts from heavy rain and flooding. Here at IMAS we hope everyone is safe and supported during this heartbreaking time. I myself, along with my neighbours have been trapped on our property for four days now, cut...

read more
Did the dog REALLY eat your homework…?

Did the dog REALLY eat your homework…?

I want to start a very candid conversation about objective evidence, what is it really, why do we have it, and why is it so important? This topic is for both members of an organisation and also for auditors. 1: What is Objective Evidence? There's a plethora of...

read more
What is risk based thinking?

What is risk based thinking?

Back in 2015 there was a game-changing shift for ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems - Requirements). Everyone was used to the normal Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. Everyone knew they had boxes to tick and processes to follow. And yet...there was still something...

read more
How to have a better auditor/auditee relationship

How to have a better auditor/auditee relationship

The auditor and auditee relationship is delicate. On one hand, you have a professional who puts their heart and soul into their work that is suddenly up for “examination”. On the other hand, you have a professional who is measuring evidence against requirements. It is...

read more
Did the dog REALLY eat your homework…?

Did the dog REALLY eat your homework…?

I want to start a very candid conversation about objective evidence, what is it really, why do we have it, and why is it so important? This topic is for both members of an organisation and also for auditors. 1: What is Objective Evidence? There's a plethora of...

read more
What is risk based thinking?

What is risk based thinking?

Back in 2015 there was a game-changing shift for ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems - Requirements). Everyone was used to the normal Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. Everyone knew they had boxes to tick and processes to follow. And yet...there was still something...

read more
How to have a better auditor/auditee relationship

How to have a better auditor/auditee relationship

The auditor and auditee relationship is delicate. On one hand, you have a professional who puts their heart and soul into their work that is suddenly up for “examination”. On the other hand, you have a professional who is measuring evidence against requirements. It is...

read more

I get asked all the time, what is the difference between Quality Assurance and Quality Control? It could be a client who is working towards management system certification for the very first time or even managers of an organisation that has had its systems established for a number of years. The simple answer is this:

  • Quality Control focuses on the conformity of an individual product or service at a particular point in time
  • Quality Assurance is concerned with how effectively a system, framework or process ensures that all products or services meets quality needs throughout its entire lifecycle.

Another way to think about it is that Quality Control is the Micro and Quality Assurance is the Macro. Take a step further back, and we can understand that Quality Control is a tool used in Quality Assurance, and Quality Assurance is what provides information to administer Quality Management.

Another question I often get asked, is which do I prefer, Quality Assurance or Quality Control? My response is always, they each have their place, purpose and  merit when correctly understood and applied.

When I am coaching clients on Quality Management, Assurance and Control, I like to use analogies. Here is the scenario for today’s blog:

The Ten-Year Wedding Anniversary

Your ten-year wedding anniversary is coming up. You really screwed up the last couple of anniversaries and your life partner is REALLY sensitive about that. It’s been the ammunition thrown at you when you forgot to take out the trash, the grenade in your face when you’ve questioned the credit card bill and the wildfire raging out of control when you cancelled lunch last week. Ok…you’ve got this. You’re going to ensure this anniversary is THE anniversary to beat all anniversaries.

You’ve planned a romantic getaway for two. You checked your partner is available for those days (secretly, of course). You’ve got babysitters for the kids (thanks mum!). The dog is booked into the pet resort. You’ve got the hotel invoice, just need to pay it. You’ve carefully planned out fun activities that your partner loves to do and left enough time for romantic alone time together.

Enter Quality Management

You have identified the context in which this service exists (you suck at anniversaries historically and this one needs to be epic). You know the needs of your interested parties (your partner, the babysitter, dog resort and venues). You know the resources you need (money, time, transport etc.) and you know the outcome you need (Non-sucking anniversary). You will know you’ve succeeded when you’re receiving hugs and kisses and not a verbal dressing down and disappointed eyes.

Enter Quality Assurance

Most people are familiar with the Plan, Do, Check, Act Cycle. Here’s how it applies to our scenario.

Plan: Time is a limited resource. We have a due date, so our planning is written around this (the anniversary). The kids and dog must be dropped off to certain people and places at certain times and dates. Venues and other resources need to be paid money. We need luggage, a gift, transport AND we need to try and keep it a surprise. We dutifully map out how we intend to pull this off. We have our plan.

Do: Here’s where we get cracking and “do the plan”. We make those phone calls. Place those bookings. Pay those bills. Take the steps we said we would take to deliver an epic ten-year anniversary.

Check: We need to take a breath and check that we’re on track. Are we on time? Is anything not going to plan? Do we need to make adjustments anywhere? Are there better opportunities we can take advantage of? There’s no point booking a romantic horse ride through serene bushland if the weather is forecasting heavy rain for example.

Act: If something isn’t going to work out….then fix it! Maybe heavy rain is forecast after all, and you should swap out an activity. Or maybe the restaurant can’t fit you in until 8pm and you know you’ll be hangry by 6pm. Anything that is a barrier to achiving an epic ten-year wedding anniversary needs to be corrected or improved.

Enter Quality Control

All the below are examples of quality control that could be used in this scenario.

  • Is the phone battery charged before making a call?
  • Is there enough money in the bank before trying to make a purchase?
  • Is there enough fuel in the tank before trying to drive somewhere?
  • Do we know how to get to our destination?
  • Before booking the hotel, check the online review ratings so we don’t end up in a dump.

 

It’s a big day. Happy anniversary! You wake your partner up (not too early so they are grumpy but not too late that they beat you out of bed) with their favourite breakfast. Under the plate, there is a card and inside you’ve printed out a sheet listing all the epically awesome things you’ve planned. Your partner is thrilled! They were convinced you had forgotten (again). You get ready and set off. You have the best getaway you’ve had for years, love rekindled, and past transgressions all forgiven and forgotten.

Final Message

You cannot have good quality management, without using both quality assurance and quality control. Quality Assurance without management is like having a dartboard but no darts to throw at it. Quality Control without assurance is like throwing darts into thin air. It is pointless. They work together, providing the right information at the right time, to allow a dart player to play a game that makes sense.

Karice Grundon PCQI –  20/01/2020

 

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