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Difference between quality assurance, quality control, and quality management

Quality Assurance/Quality Control:

quality assurance, quality control and quality management

The Traveler above depicts quality control within a shop. ISO 9002-87 (Quality Assurance in production, servicing, and installation) was the standard for quality control. 

These terms were popular in the 1990’s when ISO Management System Standards were in the development stage and evolving. Quality control applies as the name implies to control the quality at the working level. During those times, this also meant the control at the shop floor for products and services in accordance with relevant specifications. For the quality control situation, the product was designed already but its production was under control. This was managed by having in place an ITP (Inspection and Test Plan). The ITP includes all the progressive steps on the shop floor with reference documents, nature of inspection or testing, the acceptance criteria for testing/inspection, records to be generated, pass/fail status, and any regulatory/statutory approvals. 

Quality Assurance ISO 9001-87 (Quality Assurance in design, installation, and production) covered design in addition to production, servicing, and installation. The implication of ISO 9001-87 was to have design components such as design drawings, design calculations, and design specifications in addition to production, servicing, and installation requirements. 

ISO 1987 additions were revised through 2000, 2008, and 2015. 

Quality Management:

The later versions of ISO standard replaced the previous terms ‘quality control/quality assurance’ with ‘quality management’. The term ‘quality management’ implied that everyone within the organization contributed to QMS, irrespective of their roles/job. In other words, a receptionist who receives calls from potential customers is also a part of the quality management system. 

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