QA, QC and QM : The Must Knows of Testing!

Posted By :Nuzhat Siddique |25th February 2022

It can be difficult to figure out the difference between Quality Assurance (QA), Quality Control (QC), and Quality Management (QM). In fact, it's one of the often asked questions and variations explained to project teams members and stakeholders.


It's not suprising that people consider QC, QA, and QM the same thing. But is that so? Or are they completely different processes?


Clearly, all these three terms are related to the product's quality assurance. However, they cover it in different ways. Figuring out the differences in QA and QC will help you understand the place of a software tester in the process of quality assurance.


Also, understanding the value of each of these strategies will help you make better business decisions, in particular, knowing for sure implementing which one will work best for your project.


What is Quality?

The most common definition of quality is basically the degree to which an item or process meets or exceeds the user's requirements and expectations. 

Quality Assurance VS Quality Control


In brief, both QC and QA focus on assuring that software works well and advancing the processes within your team. Likewise, these terms are also not unique to software development. They are applied in project management, healthcare, manufacturing, etc. Let's see this one at a time.




Quality Control is the set of process to monitor and record results of the executed quality activities to determine the performance and recommend necessary changes. QC identifies if the quality of a product or service meets customers' expectations or not. For this, QC specialists look for defects, identify them, and share their recommendations and findings on eliminating these defects. Quality control includes testing but is not limited to it.


Quality control is a reactive approach focused on the end product and its functionality, performance, design, etc. It involves checking the quality after the product development but before it is packaged, whether it is an application or a simple chocolate bar.




QA is a broader term. It is the systematic process of auditing the quality requirements and the quality control results to ensure that whether appropriate quality standards and operational definitions are used.


Quality Assurance means maintaining a predetermined quality level in the product or services, from the beginning of the production process to its delivery. The aim is to prevent the defects or set up a process in a way that allows finding defects at the earliest stages before the product is on the development stage. So, QA is a proactive approach designed to prevent issues before they are exposed to the product.


Difference Between QA and QC in Software Testing


Now let's find out the more definite differences between quality control and quality assurance. Are they similar? You won't say it after reading the following paragraphs.


1. SCOPE: QA is focused on primary production. For software testers it means functionality, performance, and other aspects of the product meets the requirement specifications. QC takes under consideration secondary factors such as hardware differences, API compatibility, etc.


2. GOALS: One of the most QA/QC differences is their initial aim. QA goals are user-driven, they include minimizing the number of unexpected issues, and improving the efficiency of development, and increasing the testing speed.

QC goals in turn are product-driven. Here, we are talking about reaching goals, ensuring that the product works on different devices, checking compliance with the requirements, documenting all the processes and validating UX, etc.

3. MEASUREMENT & STATISTICS : A QA team can use checklist sheets, control starts, tabular structure, as well as diagrams to measure the efficiency of the testing and development process. On the other side, QC team would rather use quality control techniques to measure the quality of the end product.

Concluding the quality assurance and quality control differences you get the following:


Quality assurance (QA)

Quality control (QC)

Prevents defects

Identifies defects



Proactive approach

Reactive approach

Implemented at the design stage

Implemented at the final stage



Understanding Quality Management


Quality Management is a much bigger subject which assures that software products meet the needed level of quality. Quality assurance, quality planning, quality control, and quality improvement are the four key subprocesses of Quality Management.


It covers all the organizational processes and its goal is to ensure the quality of every aspect or feature that has a direct or indirect impact on customer's satisfaction. In other words QM encloses both QC and QA.


Quality management is a collection of policies, procedures, and processes combined to work smoothly as a single system. They make it easier for the team to achieve quality goals and objectives.


Quality Assurance VS Quality Management


QM build processes that are essential towards organizational success and growth. It analyzes quality from all possible angles, includes planning, control and improvement. Some of the most common QM activities includes:


1. Establishing convincing hiring and training practices.

2. Carefully designing the company's product and services.

3. Creating detailed problem solving and identification plans.

4. Reviewing and revising processes to ensure they submit expected results.


As you can see, some of these points divide with the QA and QC techniques. After discussing QA and QC differences we can say that:

1. QC are the steps you take afterward to assure that you have met your quality goals.

2. QA suggested, in addition to what is mentioned in the QC's definition, the plans and requirements you create to provide quality products and services.

3. QM encircle both of these processes.


Quality Management identifies potential for improvement while QA checks the potential negative influences on quality. The framework QM creates will make sure a structured approach for carrying out all the QA and QC procedures.



The organization want to focus on Quality Management rather than Quality Assurance or just Quality Control is to simplify, clarify, and control the whole development and testing process.


To cut a long story short,

  1. QM helps you to take a organized approach to defect management. Corrective and preventive actions are consistently taken based on a priority.

  2. QM ensures that high risk problems and issues are properly dealt with and it won't occur again. It means fewer defects and less rework at the various stages of the quality control process.

  3. QM gives form and reality to your organization's commitment, to a vision and mission, linking what you wants to achieve with “who” and “how” of your processes.



Final Thoughts


Quality Control and Quality Assurance are important parts of the Quality Management process. So if you decide to choose QM as the main strategy for your team or a particular product, it means all the benefits of QC and QA are already included.


Quality Management is a more broad and extensive process. Rather than relying on infrequent checks and fixes, QM helps you get a view of the potential issues and risks that could come up in your product. Thus it enables you with tools that make it easier to predict and prevent such issues and risks.


QC means you are ready to review and test the product, development strategies and processes. QA means you are ready to implement changes even before you know if there are any issues. QM means you establish a foolproof and never-failing strategy for the processes, and it will come with a strong assurance that the majority of issues and risks will be prevented long before they can arise in your product life cycle.

About Author

Nuzhat Siddique

Nuzhat is a highly skilled Quality Analyst with a strong background in both manual and automated testing. She possesses extensive knowledge in manual testing methodologies and excels in all aspects of Test Documentation processes. Her proficiency in using tools such as MySQL, Postman, MongoDB, LambdaTest, and Selenium has enabled her to perform effective application testing. She has successfully completed and delivered software testing projects for various domains, including E-Learning, Healthcare, ETL, and IoT. Her notable contributions include projects such as Konfer and HP1T. Additionally, she have experience in test management and defect tracking systems such as Trello and Jira. Nuzhat also has hands-on experience with test automation tools such as Selenium and Protractor. She is a self-driven and self-motivated person with excellent communication and presentation skills.

Request For Proposal

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

Ready to innovate ? Let's get in touch

Chat With Us