What is the difference between QA and QC in construction?

Quality is always the result of excellent work without compromise. Having this quality in place throughout the project life-cycle generates the need for quality management. And to simplify the process of this quality management, it is further branched into Quality Control and Quality Assurance.

Quality Control (QC) and Quality Assurance (QA) are crucial parts of the quality management of a construction project to have a quality product or service. These terms are often used together by professionals involved in the construction sites and are often wrongly used interchangeably.

The ideas of control and prevention are often confused with one another. Quality control and quality assurance are inseparable terms in managing quality on a construction project.

However, these terms refer to distinctly different activities on a construction site. Read till the end to learn the difference and the need to identify this difference.

What are QA and QC?

Quality Control (QC) is interpreted as detecting and correcting the problems when they occur, whereas Quality Assurance (QA) is the process of preventing issues from happening. Further, the following definitions of the respective terms clarify the concept.

Quality Control:

It is a system of routine technical activities to measure and control the quality of the construction activities happening on the site. The QC system is designed to:

Provide routine and consistent checks to ensure integrity, correctness, and completeness of the elements, material, or service.

Document and archive all QC activities or any defaults encountered along with its rectification process.

Digital advancement in terms of web panels where all the system for QA is established for project monitoring and analytics in terms of quality is a great way to ensure the best quality on the construction project. We here at DigiQC bring you this service and other elaborate quality functions.

Quality Assurance:

Quality Assurance (QA) is a series of arranged and methodical exercises spread out before a project begins. The point of this plan is to give certainty that quality necessities will be satisfied throughout the end of the construction project.

In simpler words, QA is the process of planning to do the right things in the right way to achieve the desired quality at the end of the construction project. In the subsequent section, the difference between the two is outlined, along with the need to understand this difference.

The QC part through the DigiQC is applied through a smartphone app that effectively controls the quality on site. DigiQC app works on real-time data that is to be entered on site. This ensures that the correct process is followed at the construction time and the desired quality is achieved.

What is the need to understand the difference?

To manage something, it is essential to know every detail about it. To ensure the desired quality standards on a construction project, it is crucial to understand every quality management component and see the difference between them.

Understanding the difference between QA and QC improves communication between clients, contractors, and other vital stakeholders. A clear understanding makes the project team more robust and more efficient in achieving the quality goals of the project.

Conversely, a blurred understanding can lead to wrong decisions, further increasing the risk of defects occurring and more claims going down the road.

We are more likely to achieve quality targets if the actual quality is monitored, measured, and improved regularly. We at DigiQC are here to help you manage the quality of your site.

What is the difference between QA and QC in construction?

Fundamentally, QA is focused on preventing defects, and QC is focused on identifying the faults.

Quality Assurance is about an arrangement. It is done before the actual construction begins. Quality Assurance is a process that oversees quality. QA records the methods, principles, standards, and strategies that should be done and guarantees they are known to the individuals who need to know them.

The critical components of QC are observation and activity. When you have the best arrangement and framework set up (done in QA), you need to screen the work to ensure the outcomes are what you anticipate them to be. In other words, QC is the investigation of the craftsmanship on a construction site. Quality Control verifies that the desired quality is met.

Let us understand it with an example. While constructing a slab, QA means having someone monitor and check the formwork and rebar, submitting the issues to get them fixed, and tracking that they are set before concreting begins in the particular slab. Whereas QC will be the specific person or inspector visiting the construction site, checking the rebar diameter, rebar spacing, and no. of rebars are as per drawing, and the formwork is sturdy and secure with no debris cover blocks are in place.

The following three phrases will make the difference clear

  • QC selects suppliers, materials, and processes qualified to QA standards.
  • QC ensures the construction meets standards specified by QA.
  • QC verifies project requirements with QA procedures.

The illustration below will help you to understand better the scope of QA and QC in the quality management of a construction project.

What is the difference between QA and QC in construction?

Numerous of the forms within the AEC industry are obsolete, manual, and paper-based. We got to reconsider numerous of these processes. In many instances, we got to discard the ancient ways and go out in favor of modern, advanced workflows that are empowered by the devices and innovation that is presently accessible. This is now made available to you by DigiQC.


QA and QC are independent terms and cannot be interchangeably used. QA is process-oriented, while QC is focused on the end product. Both of these are important in successfully managing quality on a construction project.

Suppose your layout plans with no assurance of it being followed or considered; the quality goals cannot be achieved. Also, if you inspect or test without a plan, you can sometimes miss the complete picture. Therefore, it is essential to balance and juggle both quality management functions.

To conclude, it is essential to know that quality assurance does not eliminate the need for quality control, as QC is necessary and should not be compromised at any stage of quality management in the construction project.

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