Quality assurance (QA) and quality management (QM) are two concepts that are closely related to each other but have different meanings.
Quality assurance refers to the set of activities that are designed to ensure that a product or service meets certain quality standards before it is delivered to the customer. The main objective of quality assurance is to prevent defects and ensure that the product or service is consistent and reliable.
Quality management, on the other hand, is a broader concept that encompasses all activities that are designed to achieve a high level of quality in an organization. This includes not only the set of activities related to quality assurance but also those activities that are focused on improving the quality of work, processes, and products across the organization.
In general, a quality management system (QMS) is a formalized system that is put in place to manage and improve the quality of an organization’s products or services. A QMS usually includes a set of policies, procedures, and processes that are designed to ensure that the organization meets its quality objectives.
The main components of a QMS include planning, control, assurance, and improvement. Planning involves setting quality objectives and defining the processes and procedures that will be used to achieve those objectives. Control involves monitoring the processes and procedures to ensure that they are being followed correctly. Assurance involves verifying that the product or service meets the quality standards before it is delivered to the customer. Improvement involves continuously analyzing the processes and procedures to identify areas for improvement and implementing changes as needed.
In summary, while quality assurance is a part of quality management, quality management is a broader concept that encompasses all activities related to achieving a high level of quality in an organization. A QMS is a formalized system that helps organizations manage and improve their quality performance.