QA vs. QC: main differences

The terms QA (Quality Assurance) and QC (Quality Control) have gained significance in the realm of software development as approaches focused on ensuring quality. However, it's still common for them to be used inaccurately or be ambiguous for many involved in QA manager tasks.

QA and QC are both part of quality management and are also interconnected. Nevertheless, they differ in the objective they aim to achieve and how they strive to accomplish it.

Put simply, it could be said that Quality Assurance is more overarching and encompasses Quality Control. However, there are other differences between the two terms that are worth understanding before implementing quality processes. We'll explain them to you.

QA vs QC: definitions

  • QA or Quality Assurance includes the set of activities and processes aimed at ensuring that a product or service (such as software) meets established quality standards. It offers a systematic approach to ensure that a product or service aligns with pre-defined quality requirements.
  • QA is characterized by a proactive approach to achieving an error-free end product. Typical activities within this process include defining standards, developing quality control procedure plans, conducting inspections and testing, monitoring, and managing documentation, among other tasks.
  • In this context, the World Quality Report found that the two main reasons companies implement QA processes are to detect software errors before release and to accelerate launch times.
  • QC or Quality Control refers to processes that verify the conformity of a product or service to established quality standards. It is part of QA processes and aims to identify and correct any deviations or non-conformities from the standards that may occur.

Differences Between QA and QC

From the previous definitions, some fundamental differences between QA and QC appear:

  1. Preventive vs. Corrective Approach: QA adopts a preventive approach, aiming to prevent errors before they occur. QC, on the other hand, focuses on checking that the final product meets requirements or identifying potential errors or issues that have occurred.
  2. Process vs. Product Orientation: QA is oriented towards ensuring that proper internal processes and manufacturing methods are followed, whereas QC is focused on verifying the quality of the final product or service.

These distinctions highlight the contrasting nature of QA and QC in their respective goals and approaches to achieving quality assurance.

QA and QC software from a Data Perspective

With the growing importance of ensuring process and service quality, tools to assist companies in their QA and QC processes are growing in number and possibilities. In this context, there are numerous tools available to automate software quality processes. However, icaria Technology wants to highlight an often overlooked aspect: obtaining quality data for QA and QC.

Given legal obligations related to data protection, the right to erasure, and the serious consequences of GDPR non-compliance, companies frequently face the challenge of accessing quality data that is also used in accordance with the law. 

GDPR software is designed to enable companies to fulfill legal requirements in various actions related to QA and QC.

It's important to note that QA and QC take place in development and testing environments, which are also subject to data privacy legal obligations. Therefore, Test Data Management (TDM) software is aimed at providing companies with test data in such production-like environments while complying with GDPR obligations.

This kind of tool manages test data, its lifecycle, dissociation, and consistent delivery in pre-production environments and re-deliveries. Here, the concept of data quality comes into play: companies gain access to accurate, complete, consistent, reliable, up-to-date, and ultimately legal data.Do you want to learn more about how GDPR software can help you optimize these processes? icaria Technology can assist you. Get in touch with us and speak with our team.