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 hence are often wrongly used interchangeably.

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

However, both 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 the process of detecting and correcting the problems when they occur, whereas Quality Assurance (QA) is the process of preventing problems 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.
  • Identify and address errors and omissions
  • 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 for assuring the best quality on the construction project. We here at DigiQC bring to you this service along with other elaborate quality functions.

Quality Assurance:

Quality Assurance (QA) is a series of arranged and methodical exercises that are spread out before a project begins. The point of this plan is to give certainty that quality necessities will be satisfied throughout until 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 is effectively functioning for controlling 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 time of construction 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 standards of quality on a construction project, it is important to understand each and every component of quality management and to clearly know the difference between them.

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

Conversely, a blurred understanding can lead to wrong decisions which will further increase 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 on a regular basis. We at DigiQC are here to help you in managing 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 defects.

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 key components of QC are observation and activity. In any event, when you have the best arrangement and framework set up (which is done in QA), you actually need to screen the work as it happens 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 the process of having someone monitor and check the formwork and rebar, submitting the issues to get it fixed, and tracking that they are fixed 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 and cover blocks are in place.

The following three phrases will make the difference more 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 better understand 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 is obsolete, manual, and paper-based. We got to reconsider numerous of these processes, and in numerous cases, 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 focussed on the end-product. Both of these are important in the successful management of quality on a construction project.

If 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 important to balance and juggle both the functions of quality management.

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

Want to know more about the QC software? CLICK HERE to schedule a demo.

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