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Quality knowledge base - article QA-0004
Updated on 01-08-2016

Quality Assurance (QA)

Quality Assurance, or QA for short, refers to the comprehensive term of using systematic methods and techniques in order to provide flawless products and services to the customers.
In other words, QA is the way of providing solutions to meet customer satisfaction by performing a set of activities (both on paper and physical). Quality Assurance must expansively pervade all business processes, raw materials products, support functions, etc., to prevent mistakes, hereby fulfilling the exact and latent requirements of the clients.
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Key Features
It is a general and widely spread misunderstanding that Quality Assurance is the concern of the quality department only. Whenever a business entity intends to focus on quality, it has to integrate QA in all major fields and processes (not only in manufacturing, but in all supporting processes):
  • Management activities
  • Product design and –development
  • Purchasing
  • Raw materials / Suppliers
  • Manufacturing
  • Project management
  • Logistics
  • Service activities
  • Data management
  • Warranty and claim handling
By having the quality focus in all of the above mentioned fields and processes, the company can act for the good of the clients, which brings not only sustainable financial benefit, but also long-term economic growth and prestige.
In order to do QA right, you have to develop, maintain and improve a proper Quality Management System (QMS).
It must be pointed out, that Quality Assurance (QA) is not equal to Quality Control (QC). While QA is the bunch of proactive and systematic activities to ensure quality during the product realization, QC is a completely reactive process that aims to identify and eliminate failures.
Simply: QA is a preventive process oriented methodology, while QC is a reactive product oriented process. Decades before, QA was mainly considered as a performance evaluation after operations, but nowadays it means much more: ensuring quality, defect prevention, verification of processes (process oriented).
"Quality control has as its primary purpose to maintain control. Performance is evaluated during operations, and performance is compared to goals during operations. The resulting information is received and used by the operating forces. Quality assurance’s main purpose is to verify that control is being maintained. Performance is evaluated after operations, and the resulting information is provided to both the operating forces and others who have a need to know." - Joseph M. Juran
Source:; Joseph M. Juran - Juran's Quality Handbook
  • Quality Assurance (QA) is the set of activities aiming failure prevention and ensuring quality in the product realization process (proactive).
  • Everyone in the product realization process is responsible for quality.
  • QA is not equal to Quality Control (QC).
  • QA activities must be implemented in the Quality Management System (QMS).
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