Quality Assurance and Quality Control are extremely important aspects of any engineering or construction project without which successful completion of the project can’t be imagined. In fact, these two are integral parts of virtually any project one can think of. Proper implementation of Quality Assurance and Quality Control not only results in a sound project but also leads to more economy by means of optimisation. It’s hence important to realise the meaning or the definitions of the terms Quality Assurance and Quality Control. That’s what this post is all about.
Quality Assurance : Quality Assurance or QA is the process of identifying or deciding all the quality requirements for a project, identifying existing quality documents such as codes, specifications etc. that are relevant to the quality requirements of the project and making them available for use, preparation of new project specific quality documents such as Project Quality Plan (PQP) or Quality Assurance Plan (QAP), Inspection Test Plans (ITP), Job Procedures (JP), Project Specifications etc. that would provide the necessary framework or guidelines for ensuring that the planned or targetted quality requirements (quality goals) for the project are achieved in a systematic and timely manner.
Quality Assurance includes all those quality parameters or guidelines that would ensure that a project or a product meets it’s planned or targetted quality by it’s stakeholders or the producers. All the documents providing quality parameters or guidelines for that purpose are part of quality domain and are called QA documents. Examples of QA documents are the Project Quality Plan (PQP) or Quality Assurance Plan (QAP), Inspection Test Plans (ITP), Job Procedures (JP), codes and so on.
Quality Control: Quality control includes all those tasks or activities performed in ground as per the quality guidelines or framework prescribed in the Quality assurance documents such as Project Quality Plan (PQP) or Quality Assurance Plan (QAP), Inspection Test Plans (ITPs), Job Procedures (JPs), Project Specifications etc. in order to ascertain that the quality targets as laid down in the QA documents are actually achieved in a systematic manner as suggested in these documents. The quality documents generated while performing these tasks are Quality Control documents or QC documents.
Quality Control is usually performed by contractors, manufacturers, suppliers etc. and often has to be approved by their clients or the representatives of the clients such as the consultants.