Quality Knowledge

Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control: What Are the Differences?

quality assurance vs quality control

Regardless of the type of products you’re importing from China, there’s a need to stay true to quality. As such, you need to know the difference between quality assurance vs. quality control. This way, you can choose a quality management process that enhances your importation business.

There are many benefits to checking the quality of products set for importation. However, in doing so, many “experts” confuse quality assurance for control. Over the course of this article, we will clear up the misconceptions that exist where these quality management processes are concerned. This article explains the differences in the quality assurance vs. quality control discourse.

What is Quality Assurance?

Quality assurance is a process that affects every part of your business. It refers to the steps you take to reduce errors in your production and importation process. If you provide services, quality assurance is the sum total of the methods you employ to ensure top-notch quality every time. The process is vital to production and essential if you provide services.

In history, quality assurance dates back to the second world war, when weapons needed testing. Many firms have different methods they employ to ensure quality assurance in the delivery of products and services. Let’s take a look at two examples of quality assurance process for an importing firm:

Selection of production materials and features

If you are into the importation business, you should know the raw materials that make up a finished product. You see, these materials are the bedrock of your product’s quality. Hence, the process of raw material selection and assessment of product features make up quality assurance.

All of the above should be a part of your quality assurance process. The process ensures your product’s quality. On the other hand, it also means your clients get more value for their money.

Choice of associates

As an importation company, the deals you make can be very influential on your business. When you deal with the wrong firm, you may make costly mistakes. Therefore, you need to select the companies and experts that you involve in your business.

For instance, you need to be sure shippers have the expertise to handle the logistic side of things. To do this, you need to have rules you follow strictly while selecting these associates. These rules are a part of quality assurance.

What is Quality Control?

If you own a firm that produces a certain product, you need quality checks. That doesn’t mean quality control isn’t necessary for the provision of services. However, quality control specifically caters to products more than services.

Anything you do to make sure your product doesn’t fall short in terms of quality is quality control. Essentially, the quality control process looks to prevent and correct any defects your product may have. Mostly, the quality control process happens after you have your final products ready.

The quality control process primarily depends on three factors: elements, competence, and soft elements. In the quality control vs. quality assurance debate, the former focuses on inspection while the latter focuses on prevention.

A quality control process differs slightly for different firms. For companies looking to import from China, below are some examples of quality control activities:


The quality control process depends totally on the inspection. However, you should have a checklist of what you’re looking out for during the inspection process. Say, you’re looking to import shoes. You definitely need to look out for the construction and stitching of the shoes.

Once you know what to look out for, you need to inspect the quality of products before and after shipping. This process is part of quality control.

Product correction

The primary reason for quality control is to correct mistakes. The first step is to find products with defects. The next step is to come up with a plan of action to remedy the defects. This process of correction is vital to the quality control process.

Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control

Quality assurance and quality control are similar terms under quality management. However, there are some differences, some of which are:

  • Quality assurance focuses on the production process, while quality control focuses on the product.
  • Quality control begins after production, while quality assurance starts before production.
  • Quality assurance corrects defects in the production process while quality control corrects product defects.


Many managers spend time and energy discussing the merits of quality assurance vs. quality control. However, it’s always better to find a way to input both processes into the business.

In this guide, you can learn the differences and similarities between both processes. However, knowing these terms doesn’t guarantee perfect quality management — you need professionals. At Jonble, we offer you the smooth importation of goods from China. We have been doing this for multiple years now.

As a result, we can clearly outline the processes that will make up quality assurance or control for your unique product. More importantly, we can help you handle the quality management process. Book a consultation session with us today!