Quality Assurance vs Quality Improvement
As quality assurance and quality improvement are two important concepts with regard to quality, any organization keen to implement quality management should know the difference between quality assurance and quality improvement. In the organizational point of view, it is very important to ensure quality standards among the processes and the products; i.e. quality assurance, and also make continuous improvements in the quality throughout the processes; i.e. quality improvements. This article first describes the two concepts and then move on to analyze the differences between quality assurance an quality improvement.
What is Quality Assurance?
Quality Assurance is a mechanism used to monitor a particular procedure or a process in order to ensure that they are up to the expected levels of quality standards. It is an integral part of the quality management system and it focuses on identifying and preventing errors in order to produce a quality output for the customers. This will be useful in building quality into the process, product and people who are engaged in the activities within the organization.
In a way, quality assurance defines the quality policy, which indicates the ways to tackle the problems or issues related with the system by saving time and the investments made for the projects. Quality assurance is carried out at the time of production and completion in order to deliver defect free products which match to the requirements of the customers. In organizations, there are quality assurance engineers who are responsible for taking preventive actions to eliminate the defects in the products in order to produce quality output for the end users.
What is Quality Improvement?
Quality Improvement is a systematic approach in analyzing the current performance of the company in order to take necessary actions for the quality improvements. Following techniques can be used to make the necessary changes for the quality improvements.
• TQM (Total Quality Management)
• 5S Concepts
Quality improvements can be considered as an ongoing effort in order to improve the current performances of the organization. Quality developments impact on increasing the productivity of the organization by eliminating the waste, defects, rejects and non-value adding activities.
What is the difference between Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement?
• Quality Assurance is about monitoring a particular procedure or a process in order to ensure that they are up to the expected levels of quality standards. On the other hand, quality improvement refers to the techniques used by the organizations for continuous quality improvements.
• Quality assurance is used to identify the mistakes, errors, defects in the processes and products manufactured in the organization. Quality improvement is concerned with continuously increasing the quality standards in order to increase the productivity of the organization by reducing cost and improving the delivery time.
• Quality assurance is a reactive approach while quality improvement is a proactive approach.
• Usually in organizations, quality assurance is done by a quality assurance engineer and quality improvement is a responsibility of all the employees in the organization.