The difference between Quality Assurance and Quality Control: the ultimate guide

The difference between Quality Assurance and Quality Control: the ultimate guide
By , Technical Copywriter

Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) are two terms that are frequently used interchangeably. However, there are significant differences between the two terms and it's important to understand the role and value of each in the software development process.

Read the article below to explore the meaning of the terms QA and QC, as well as the similarities and differences between the two. This article will also demonstrate some relevant statistics and practical case uses that can help you to make informed and knowledgeable decisions for your business going forward.

Quality Assurance vs Quality Control

QA vs QC Infographic.

What Is Quality Assurance?

Quality Assurance is the practice that involves all of the activities and procedures for validation of a product or service for the compliance of predetermined standards and requirements. It involves using many techniques and activities such as designing tests, conducting inspections, analyzing performance metrics, verifying functionalities, etc. QA is essential for ensuring the quality and reliability of the product by proactively identifying issues before they become more costly to handle later after release. Furthermore, Quality Assurance also provides an outlet for continuous improvement wherein it tracks customer feedback and trends in order to improve the user’s experience. Hence, QA plays an integral role for maintaining high standards when developing products or services to meet specific needs.

What Is Quality Control?

Quality Control is an integral part of the overall Quality Assurance processes. Quality Control focuses on identifying and correcting defects, which helps to decrease the amount of time and financial resources  wasted. 

Quality Control measures can include reviews of design documents and specifications, inspections, tests and validation procedures on products or services. It also involves analyzing data from customer feedback and complaints, as well as ensuring that any corrective actions taken will be effective. By having these methods in place and adhering to established quality control standards throughout a project, organizations can realize the benefits associated with improved customer satisfaction, increased reliability of products and services delivered along with reduced project costs.

What is a Quality Management System?

Quality Management System - is a formalized system that seeks to document procedures, processes and responsibilities for reaching the desired product quality and customer satisfaction. A quality management system is made up of both Quality Assurance and Quality Control.

Having a quality management system in place is essential for any IT organization. It ensures that the required processes are followed, standards are met, and that customer expectations are met and even exceeded. A quality management system helps to ensure consistency in operations, improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction. Additionally, it can help protect an IT organization from potential legal liabilities by having well-defined protocols and procedures in place. Implementing a quality management system can be challenging but the rewards of doing so make the effort worthwhile. With proper planning and implementation strategies, organizations can reap the benefits of having an effective quality management system in place while avoiding unnecessary delays or disruptions to their daily operations.

Potential consequences of neglecting QA and QC

What might happen if you decide to ignore QA and QC? Such a decision would have a lot of ‘painful’ consequences for your business.

Software Development Risks of Poor QA and QC:

  • System Malfunctions

  • Unstable Performance

  • Vulnerable Security Systems

  • Undetected Bugs and Code Errors

Business Risks of Poor QA and QC:

  • Dissatisfied Clients

  • Damage to Brand Image/reputation

  • Financial Losses 

  • Missed Deadlines

Having poor quality software is a real disaster for businesses. Just have a look at the statistics below to see the magnitude of the situation.

  • 620 million man hours are spent on debugging software failures.

  • $607 billion is spent on finding and fixing bugs (in just the United States alone)

  • 40% of visitors  leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

  • 79% of users who are unsatisfied with a website’s quality are less likely to return.

  • 44% of people will tell others about their negative experiences online.

QA and QC help prevent and detect issues before they can become problems. Of course, it’s difficult to quantify the exact cost of poor quality, and bugs, however, investments made in Quality Assurance and Quality Control can help you avoid unnecessary expenditures while also optimizing workflows. 

Allocate at least 25% of your IT budget for QA and QC to ensure the best quality of the product and a high ROI.

What are the similarities between Quality Assurance and Quality Control?

Quality Assurance and Quality Control are interrelated terms with similar goals and objectives. They both

  • Focus on the Release of High-Quality Products and the Satisfaction of your Client’s Needs. QA helps businesses make strategic decisions in terms of quality. At the same time, QC allows ensuring that the final product meets expectations. QA and QC complement each other, playing a crucial role together by ultimately putting a good product in the hands of the clients. 

  • Timely Realization of the Project. Both QA and QC focus on ensuring that bugs are detected early in the development stages. If a critical bug is found just before the product’s release, it’s very likely that the corrections needed will take a lot of extra time and effort. On the contrary, if the bug is detected early on by using QA and QC, you can finalize the project in a much more timely manner. 

  • Cost Cutting. Creating a good quality product can be expensive, but bad quality costs much more in the long run. Thanks to QA and QC,  you'll be able to avoid unnecessary expenditures, operational and reputational losses, as well as other risks and dangers caused by releasing a product that’s poor in quality.

  • Optimization of the Workflows. Implementing Quality Assurance and Quality Control shows organizations what can be improved (in terms of user experience, the gathering of requirements, test automation, bug detection, etc.).

It’s best to pay attention to both Quality Assurance and Quality Control so your digital project can succeed.

QA and QC: effective cooperation

It is difficult to manage the QA and QC processes efficiently and effectively. Take a look at our guidelines and best practices so we can help you to solve this challenge. 

  • The QA and QC teams should maintain regular and effective communication with each other.

  • The teams should have individual chats for discussing internal issues and shared chats for meetings, reporting, and solving strategic issues. The specialists involved should use them productively to clarify questions, issues and problems.

  • Have a systematic approach, in which both proactive and non-active  specialists do their job well and are motivated about the growth of the project and improvements of the QA processes.

  • Both teams should participate in the product development processes, cooperating together with the marketing, development, and design teams, as well as product managers, stakeholders and other involved parties.

QA vs QC in practice

Let’s see how QA and QC processes work in practice.

Roles of QA and QC in baking a birthday cake

 QA TeamQC Team
Client comes to order a birthday cake.
  • Business Analysts (whose efforts we consider a part of the QA system) analyze the requirements of the customer in terms of size, color, ingredients, and design of the birthday cake. 
  • BAs write down documentation for the cooks with all the requirements of the cake, as well as the deadlines and budget of the project. 
  • QAs prepare the testing strategy for the cake, mentioning necessary devices, the scope of the project, and other important details.
Read the customer’s requirements for the cake.
Cooks prepare the ingredients for the birthday cake
  • QAs design different metrics regarding the cooks’ and QC team’s performance. 
  • QAs demonstrate to the client that the cake’s ingredients correspond to the requirements.
QCs validate and check the ingredients that were selected by the cooks according to the recipe and the client’s needs. 
Cooks combine the ingredients of the birthday cake
  • QAs continue to gather the project’s performance metrics.
  • QAs make the preparation for documenting the cake’s testing (in terms of quality, design, taste, etc.).
  • QAs communicate with the cooks to flexibly plan the future steps needed in order to ensure there are no future problems.
  • QCs check to see if the ingredients are mixed according to the checklist prepared by QA.
  • If something is not done according to the requirements, QC immediately notifies the cooks to make the correction(s).
The birthday cake is put in the oven for baking
  • QAs communicate with the client to inform them about the process.
  • QAs continue to audit the overall quality of the processes.
  • QCs check the baking conditions (temperature, duration of cooking, etc.).
  • If something is done wrong, QCs contact the cooks so they can make the necessary corrections.
The birthday cake is ready, and is given to the client
  • QAs prepare the summary report regarding the project’s metrics.
  • QAs make the final check of the birthday cake’s quality before delivering it to the client.
  • QCs check whether the birthday cake corresponds to all the client’s requirements that were listed within the documentation.
  • QCs ask the cooks to make the final corrections if necessary (for example, to put a cherry on top of the cake). 

We hope that the example with the birthday cake showed you the difference between QA and QC. Of course, please keep in mind that each project is unique. Thus, the processes can and should be constructed differently in order to adapt to the context and specifics of each and every situation.

How Solvd has helped our clients with QA/QС

At Solvd, we have a wide QA and QC portfolio with projects having many different sizes and scopes: 

Our extensive portfolio further showcases these achievements as well as many of our other services. We are proud to be able to provide some of the finest quality assurance services in the industry while bringing innovative products to market faster and for lower cost than ever before.


The concepts of Quality Assurance and Quality Control are often confused. It’s no wonder since both terms have similar objectives:

They both:

  • Focus on the Release of High-Quality Products and Satisfaction of Clients’ Needs

  • Reduction of Unnecessary Costs

  • Timely Realization of the Project

  • Cost Cutting

  • Optimization of  Workflows

At the same time, there is a significant difference between QA and QC in terms of many aspects:

  • Focus

  • Approach

  • Duration

  • Responsibility

  • Standards

  • Methodologies

  • Tools

  • Measures

A project without QA and QC is like releasing a new car to the market without previously testing its safety and performance. So, don’t underestimate or neglect their important role in your project.

Need a QA/QC service provider for your digital solution? Solvd is ready, willing and able to help. Let’s make your project a success together.

Nelia Holovina
Technical Copywriter
Nelia Holovina, Technical Content Writer, has over 10 years of professional experience. She likes telling stories inspired by people, the latest technology and nature. Her articles have been published on TechCrunch, IBM and other top tech media. Her big goal is to rid the world of poor-quality content.

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