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Quality assurance (QA) is a method of preventing errors and defects in manufactured goods, as well as problems when supplying products or services to customers, as described by ISO 9000 as "a component of quality control aimed at ensuring that quality requirements are met." This defect prevention in quality assurance varies slightly from defect identification and rejection in quality control, and it's been dubbed a "turn left" because it emphasizes quality earlier in the process (i.e., to the left of a linear process diagram reading left to right).
The phrases "quality assurance" and "quality control" are often interchanged when referring to methods of maintaining a service or product's quality. The term "control", however, is used to describe the fifth phase of the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC) model. Quality assurance refers to the administrative and procedural tasks carried out in a quality system to ensure that a product's, service's, or activity's specifications and goals are met. Error prevention is achieved by systematic assessment, reference to a norm, process control, and a related feedback loop. Quality control, on the other hand, is concerned with the performance of the operation. Quality assurance includes two principles: "Fit for purpose" (the product should be suitable for the intended purpose); and "right first time" (mistakes should be eliminated). Quality assurance encompasses the monitoring of the quality of raw materials, assemblies, goods, and components, as well as manufacturing-related facilities, as well as the management, production, and inspection processes.
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