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Glossary ~A~

Within this glossary we define nearly 300 terms used in quality management. Some are taken from international standards, others are commonly understood English definitions and most we have derived from experience . Use the search engine in the header to search for the term you are looking for or simply click on the appropriate letter below.

Numbers A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U V W X Y Z

Acceptance criteria - The standard against which a comparison is made to judge conformance

Accreditation - A process by which organizations are authorized to conduct certification of conformity to prescribed standards

Activities affecting quality - Any activity which affects the determination of product or service features and characteristics, their specification, achievement or verification or means to plan organize, control, assure or improve them

Activity - An activity is the smallest parcel of work

Adequacy audit - An audit carried out to establish that the quality system documentation adequately addresses the requirements of a prescribed standard. N.B. also referred to as a Documentation audit. For more on auditing see Auditor Questions

Adequate - Suitable for the purpose

Aggressive behaviour - Behaviour likely to intimidate the auditee and reduce their co-operation. A person who forces his/her opinions or demands upon others and offers no co-operation

Appropriate - Appropriate means appropriate to the circumstances and requires knowledge of these circumstances. Without criteria, an Assessor is left to decide what is or is not appropriate

Approved.  - Something that has been confirmed as meeting the requirements

Assertive behaviour - Behaviour likely to cause positive results without intimidating the auditee. A person who offers resistance when attempts are made to distract him/her from their objective

Assessment - The act of determining the extent of compliance with requirements - Assessment period - The time, usually in months, between full assessments

Assessment - The act of determining the extent of compliance with requirements

Assurance - Evidence (verbal or written) that gives confidence that something will or will not happen or has or has not happened

Audit - An examination of results to verify their accuracy by someone other than the person responsible for producing them. For more on auditing see Auditor Questions

Audit brief - A statement defining the boundary conditions and requirements for an audit. Specifically, details of the organisation to be audited, the audit objective and its scope

Audit objectives - The result that is to be achieved by the audit and usually one or more of the following:

  • Whether certain agreed provisions, if implemented will yield the required results

  • Whether only the agreed provisions are being implemented

  • Whether the provisions have yielded results that are fit for their purpose and meet the needs of those who require them

  • Whether a certificate of conformance can be issued - Whether some improvement is necessary before awarding a certificate

Audit plan - A chart showing the areas to be audited during a specific audit of an organisation, including the timing and names of the auditors involved. For more on auditing see Auditor Questions

Audit programme - A chart showing the audits scheduled to be performed on specific organisations over a given period usually 12 months. For more on auditing see Auditor Questions

Audit purpose - To establish, by an unbiased means, factual information on some aspect of performance. For more on auditing see Auditor Questions

Audit report - A factual account of the results of the audit including the good points, extent of compliance, nonconformities, conclusions, recommendations and corrective actions. For more on auditing see Auditor Questions

Audit scope - The range or extent of the audit including the standard or contract against which the audit is to be conducted, the products and services and the processes to be included e.g. design, development, production, installation or servicing. For more on auditing see Auditor Questions

Audit trail - A path of enquiry and discovery that an auditor follows in search of objective evidence. For more on auditing see Auditor Questions

Auditee - The person whose operations are being audited

Auditor - A person who has the qualifications and is authorised to conduct an audit

Auditors review meeting - A meeting convened by the Lead Auditor to review progress, discuss nonconformities, resolve problems and compile the audit report. For more on auditing see Auditor Questions

Authority - The right to take actions and make decisions

Authorized - A permit to do something or use something that may not necessarily be approved


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Last amended 24/08/2013
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