12 November

QA vs QC vs Testing: What is the Difference


The IT world is developing very fast and some specialities are becoming more complicated and differentiable. Sometimes it is hard to get what is what or what another specialist is responsible for, and what he or she has to be responsible for in actual sense.

Today many people in business and IT are still confused about the QA, QC and testing concepts and there is no surprise: they are used to describe some very close procedures rather often. However, formally, these three concepts have significantly different meanings. Let’s clear everything up.

Without Further Ado

Testing is a process that contains all the activities of the life cycle, both dynamic and static ones, related to the planning, preparation and evaluation of a software product and related work results. The purpose of that process is to determine whether those results meet the described requirements and quality standards.

Quality Assurance, on the other hand, is the ability of a software to meet these standards and requirements under given conditions.

Here is the difference in comparison:

 Quality Assurance Quality Control Testing
A complex of steps that covers all technological aspects at all stages of the development, release and commissioning of software systems to ensure that the required level of quality of the software product is reached The process of compliance control of the developed system to its requirements The process is directly responsible for writing and passing test cases, localizing defects and creating bug reports
Focus more on processes and tools than on performing direct system testing Focus on testing by executing a program to identify defects and bugs using approved processes and tools Focus on testing as it is
Process Oriented Approach Product Oriented Approach Product Oriented Approach
Preventive steps Corrective process Preventive process
A complex of the Software Test Life Cycle processes A complex of QA processes A complex of QC processes

Thereby we can build a model of the hierarchy of Quality Assurance processes: Testing is a part of Quality Control. Quality Control is a part of Quality Assurance.

Specifics of QA and Testing Job

Ok, now it is clear what all these terms are about and we can dive into the specifics of each particular work zone.

What Does a Tester Do?

A tester examines and analyzes the product, and then comes up with a model or map of the product. Then, he or she plans the necessary activities to verify the compliance of the product with the stated expectations, characteristics, and requirements: designs tests, organizes the preparation of test data and directly checks, collects statistics on defects of the product and creates bug reports. After that, he/she helps developers to fix bugs faster and easier. He also helps the project manager to understand the results of development in the short term.

What Does a QA Specialist Do?

A QA specialist formulates and documents quality standards and requirements, which will be considered as a reference for the project or for the whole company. He or she then  studies the requirements for the product and offers the project manager possible options for building the development process with the application of the necessary activities to ensure quality.

QA is also involved in the process of monitoring motivation of team members, their qualifications, and selection criteria for new staff. Overall, he/she builds and monitors the project itself, conducts a regular analysis of its impact on software quality on a regular  basis. For example, preventing the appearance of some bugs by applying the practice of changing requirements before transferring them to development, or organizing training for test designers, paying attention to the fact that written tests do not provide maximum coverage of the code — it all depends on the problem that affects the product.

In other words, Quality Assurance provides the accuracy and predictability of the process, while Quality Control involves requirements compliance. In addition, testing provides the collection of statistics and including it in documentation created as a part of the Quality Control process.

A Clear Example

Let’s take a look at the example of a bicycle production. The process looks like this:

  • Testing allows us to determine whether all the parts of the bicycle and the vehicle itself work as we expect or not. Whether it is made of the right materials, using the right techniques and tools or not. This means that the object under testing already exists.

  • QA’s task is to ensure that all stages of the construction of our bicycle complies  with certain quality standards and requirements, from planning and creating drawings, drafts and concepts to assembling a vehicle. This means that we pay attention to the quality of the object even before the creation of the object itself.

Talking about the improvements of our bicycle, we must remember the most important rules for applying those things: first, we must formulate a goal and identify problems in achieving it, and then decide what should be measured to evaluate the changes. By the way, without the unity of all team members and without a common interest in the success of the project, collecting metrics is completely useless — the collected results cannot even be adequately evaluated to be used in the future.

Therefore, testing does not directly affect quality. Throughout the entire software life cycle, it allows you to estimate and monitor the compliance of software products with specified quality parameters and requirements.

Control is guaranteed through the collecting of information of the product state at any stage of its life cycle after the appropriate tests are performed. Along with such steps as the building of Quality Assurance plans, application of quality standards in processes and the regulation of relations between project participants, testing allows you to gain confidence that the steps and measures taken effectively or ineffectively affect the quality of the software being developed.

Dedicated QA Center Service

SimbirSoft has a wide expertise of all QA practises and provides a special service that allows companies to estimate any project in development or that which has already been developed and is looking for QA activities. We have more than 40 dedicated development and QA teams working on separate projects at the same time. That range of possibilities allows us to perform highly qualified QA job even on short notice.


Learn more about the testing possibilities in mobile games from our special article Scenario Testing and Exploratory Testing of Mobile Games.

UX is a significant part of any mobile app. Read more about that in our article That’s why UX Audit is so Important for Business.

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