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Glossary ~E~

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

Effectiveness of the system - The extent to which the system fulfils its purpose. For more on system effectiveness see Quality System Handbook

Employee empowerment - An environment in which employees are free (within defined limits) to take action to operate, maintain and improve the processes for which they are responsible using their own expertise and judgment

Ensure - To make certain that something will happen

Enterprise level - The owners of the enterprise who focus on, fiscal performance and listen to the voice of the shareholders or stakeholders. For more on auditing at the enterprise level see Auditor Questions

Environmental management system (EMS) - A series of  interconnected business processes that achieves the organization's environmental objectives

Establish and maintain - To set-up an entity on a permanent basis and retain or restore it in a state in which it can fulfil its purpose or required function

Evaluation - To ascertain the relative goodness, quality or usefulness of an entity with respect to a specific purpose

Evidence of conformance - Documents that testify that an entity conforms to certain prescribed requirements

Executive responsibility - Responsibility vested in those personnel who are responsible for the whole organization's performance. Often referred to as top management

Exposition - A document that sets forth meaning or intent

Extended assessment - An assessment in which those parts of an organisation excluded from the full assessment sample are subject to audit on each visit together with system maintenance monitoring and a complete re-assessment at the end of each period

External audits - Audits carried out by an organisation independent of the organisation audited. Independence has to be such that there is no financial association other than a contract

Failure mode effects analysis (FMEA) - A technique for identifying potential failure modes and assessing existing and planned provisions to detect, contain or eliminate the occurrence of failure. For an application of FMEA to process design  see Converting a QMS using the Process Approach

Final inspection and testing - The last inspection or test carried out by the supplier before ownership passes to the customer

Finding - Information revealed from an examination of documentation, items or activities

Finite element analysis - A technique for modelling a complex structure

First in first out (FIFO) - A term used to describe a method of inventory control where the items are issued for use based on the date they were recorded in the inventory

First party audits - Audits of a company or parts thereof by personnel employed by the company. These audits are also called Internal Audits

Follow-up audit - An audit carried out following and as a direct consequence of a previous audit to determine whether agreed actions have been taken and are effective

Force majeure - An event, circumstance or effect that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled

Functions - In the organizational sense, a function is a special or major activity (often unique in the organization) that is needed in order for the organization to fulfil its purpose and mission. Examples of functions are design, procurement, personnel, manufacture, marketing, maintenance etc

Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing - A method of dimensioning the shape of parts that provides appropriate limits and fits for their application and facilitates manufacturability and interchangeability

Grade - Category or rank given to entities having the same functional use but different requirements for quality; e.g. hotels are graded by star rating, automobiles are graded by model. (see also ISO 9000 clause 3.1.3)

Guide (1) - A document that serves to assist someone perform an activity or make a decision

Guide (2)- A person who escorts the auditor during the audit

Hearsay evidence - Oral statements concerning a situation that has not been observed directly


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Last amended 11/09/2013
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