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Glossary ~C~

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

Calibrate - To standardize the quantities of a measuring instrument

Calibration - The process by which measuring instruments and techniques are calibrated. For more on calibration see Quality System Handbook

Capability audit - An audit performed to verify that a process has the capability to consistently yield product that meets agreed requirements

Capability index Ppk - The performance index which account for process centering and defined as the minimum of the upper or lower specification limit minus the average value divided by 3 s

Capability index Cp - The capability index for a stable process defined as the quotient of tolerance width and process capability where process capability is the 6s range of a process's inherent variation

Capability index Cpk - The capability index that account for process centering for a stable process using the minimum upper or lower capability index

Certification - A process by which a product, process, person or organization is deemed to meet specified requirements

Certification audit - An audit performed for the purpose of certifying a product, process, person or organisation

Certification body - An organisation that is authorised to certify organisations. The body may be accredited or non-accredited

Check list (audit) - A list of topics or questions that guide an auditor conducting an audit. An aid to memory rather than a list of all questions to be asked. For more on auditing see Auditor Questions

Class - A group of entities having at least one attribute in common or a group of entities having the same generic purpose but different functional use

Clause of the standard - A numbered paragraph or subsection of the standard containing one or more related requirements such as 8.2.2 N.B. each item in a list is also a clause. (see also Quality system element). For more on ISO 9000:2000 see Quality System Handbook

Client feedback meeting - A meeting convened by the Lead Auditor to report progress, resolve problems and obtain agreement to any nonconformity declared

Closing meeting - A meeting between the auditor(s) and representatives of the organisation audited convened to report and agree the results of the audit and to agree follow-up action

Code of conduct - A set of rules that govern the behaviour of an auditor when conducting an audit

Codes - A systematically arranged and comprehensive collection of rules, regulations or principles

Commitment - An obligation a person or organization undertakes to fulfil i.e. doing what you say will do

Common cause - Random variation caused by factors that are inherent in the system

Comparative reference - A standard used to determine differences between it and another entity

Competence.  - The ability to demonstrate use of education, skills and behaviours to achieve the results required for the job

Competence-based assessment - A technique for collecting sufficient evidence that individuals can perform or behave to the specified standards in a specific role (Shirley Fletcher)

Competent - An assessment decision that confirms a person has achieved the prescribed standard of competence

Compliance audit - An audit performed to determine compliance with specified requirements. The term is sometimes limited to that part of an audit that verifies whether documented practices are being followed

Concession - Permission granted by an acceptance authority to supply product or service that does not meet the prescribed requirements

Concurrent engineering - See simultaneous engineering

Conformance audit - An audit performed to determine conformance or conformity with specified requirements (see also compliance audit)

Conforms to specified requirements - Meets the requirements that have been specified by the customer or the market

Continual assessment - An assessment in which selected parts of the quality system are assessed on each visit and which over a given period subject the whole quality system to re-assessment

Continual improvement - A form of improvement that brings about beneficial change in stages, reaching a plateau at each stage. The time on the plateau is immaterial providing there is no decline in performance

Continuous improvement - A form of improvement that does not reach a plateau

Contract - An agreement formally executed by both customer and supplier (enforceable by law) which requires performance of services or delivery of products at a cost to the customer in accordance with stated terms and conditions. Also agreed requirements between a supplier and customer transmitted by any means

Contractual requirements - Requirements specified in a contract

Control - The act of preventing or regulating change in parameters, situations or conditions

Control charts - A graphical comparison of process performance data to computed control limits drawn as limit lines on the chart

Control methods - Particular ways of providing control which do not constrain the sequence of steps in which the methods are carried out

Control procedure - A procedure that controls product or information as it passes through a process

Controlled conditions - Arrangements that provide control over all factors that influence the result

Core competence - A specific set of capabilities including knowledge, skills, behaviours and technology that generate performance differentials

Core values - Those standards and principles that condition behaviour and opinion

Corrective action - Action planned or taken to stop something from recurring

Corrective maintenance - Maintenance carried out after a failure has occurred and is intended to restore an item to a state in which it can perform its required function

Criteria for workmanship - Acceptance standards based on qualitative measures of performance

Critical Success Factors (CSF)- The factors upon which the achievement of a specific objective, goal or mission depend. For more on CSFs see Converting a QMS using the Process Approach

Cross functional team - See Multidisciplinary team

Cultural analysis - An analysis of the values, norms and beliefs of an organization to help understand

Culture - The values, beliefs and norms that permeate an organization and help shape the behaviour of its members. A set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes a company or corporation (Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary)

Customer - Organization that receives a product or service - includes, Purchaser, consumer, client, end user, retailer or beneficiary. (ISO 9000)

Customer complaints - Any adverse report (verbal or written) received by a supplier from a customer

Customer feedback - Any comment on the organization's performance provided by a customer

Customer supplied product - Hardware, software, documentation or information owned by the customer which is provided to a supplier for use in connection with a contract and which is returned to the customer either incorporated in the supplies or at the end of the contract


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Last amended 11/09/2013
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