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Glossary ~S~

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

Safety management system (SMS) - That part of the management system that achieves the organizationís safety objectives Ė

Scheduled maintenance - Work performed at a time specifically planned to minimize interruptions in machine availability; e.g. changing a gearbox when machine is not required for use (includes predictive and preventive maintenance)

Second party audits - Audits carried out by customers upon their suppliers

Self audit - An audit carried out by a person responsible for the activities audited

Service - Results that do not depend on the provision of products

Service reports - Reports of servicing activities

Servicing - Action to restore or maintain an item in an operational condition

Shall - A provision that is binding

Should - A provision that is optional

Simultaneous engineering - A method of reducing the time taken to achieve objectives by developing the resources needed to support and sustain the production of a product in parallel with the development of the product itself. It involves customers, suppliers and each of the organization's functions working together to achieve common objectives

Six sigma - Six standard deviations

Special cause variation - A cause of variation that can be assigned to a specific or special condition that does not apply to other events

Specified requirements - Requirements prescribed by the customer and agreed by the supplier or requirements prescribed by the supplier that are perceived as satisfying a market need

Stakeholder - A person or organization that has freedom to provide something to or withdraw something from an enterprise

Stakeholder Analysis - The determination of an organization's stakeholders and analysis of their needs and expectations in a way that will reveal the critical business outputs and level of performance that need to be achieved to satisfy them.

Standard - A definition of the acceptance criteria for judging the quality of an activity, a document, a product, a process or a service. Also a way of describing the way things ought to be.

Statistical control - A condition of a process in which there is no indication of a special cause of variation

Status - The relative condition, maturity or quality of something

Status of an activity (in auditing) - The maturity or relative level of performance of an activity to be audited

Stock Turns - A measure of how frequently the stock, raw material, work-in-progress and finished goods are turned over in relation to the sales revenue of a product. The ratio of Sales turnover of product/Value of stock. A high figure indicates better control over the manufacturing process. A low figure indicates excessive stock to accommodate process variations.

Strategic quality audit - An audit performed to verify that the strategic plans of the organisation address current and future legal, environmental, safety and market quality requirements. For more on auditing see Auditor Questions

Subcontract requirements - Requirements placed on a subcontractor that are derived from requirements of the main contract

Subcontractor - A person or company that enters into a subcontract and assumes some of the obligations of the prime contractor

Subcontractor development - A technique for promoting continuous improvement of subcontractors by encouraging customer-supplier relationships and communication across all levels of the involved organizations

Subsystem - Subsystems comprise a group of business processes that serve a common purpose in the organisation. The subsystem group is only necessary in modelling the system when intermediate layers are needed before identifying work processes

Supplier - A person or company who supplies products or services to a purchaser

Supplier approval audits - See vendor audits

Surveillance (quality system) - An activity performed to verify that the organisation has maintained its quality system and it continues to be suitable for achieving its stated objectives and effective in providing an adequate degree of control over the organisationís operations

System - A collection of ideas, principles or components that function together to achieve a specific objective. A collection of components becomes a system when the components are connected together so as to cause a specific result. See also management system

System Audit - An audit carried out to establish whether the quality system conforms to a prescribed standard in both its design and its implementation. For more on auditing see Auditor Questions

System change board - A group of people formed to evaluate proposed changes to the quality system and decide an appropriate course of action

System effectiveness - The ability of a system to achieve its stated purpose and objectives

System review board - A group of people formed to review the quality system, make decisions on its effectiveness and set a course of action for its improvement

Systemic failure - A failure which has a high probability of recurrence due to an inadequacy in the system and for which corrective action can be specified to eliminate the cause and prevent recurrence


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Last amended 11/09/2013
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