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Glossary ~T, U & V~

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

Task - A task is a group of activities that accomplish a minor objective

Technical interfaces - The physical and functional boundary between products or services

Tender - A written offer to supply products or services at a stated cost

TC 176 - The Technical Committee of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that is responsible for international standards in the field of Quality Management and Quality Assurance. There are 69 participating countries and 18 observers. See also http://www.iso.ch/iso/en/stdsdevelopment/tc/TC.html

Theory of constraints - A thinking process optimizing system performance. It examines the system and focuses on the constraints that limit overall system performance. It looks for the weakest link in the chain of processes that produce organizational performance and seeks to eliminate it and optimize system performance

Third party audits - External audits carried out by personnel who are neither employees of the customer nor the supplier and are usually employees of certification bodies or registrars

Total Quality Management (TQM) - A management approach of an organization centred on quality based on the participation of all of its members and aiming at long term success through customer satisfaction, and benefits to all members of the organization and to society (ISO 8402) - A comprehensive approach to improving competitiveness, effectiveness and flexibility through planning, organizing ad understanding each activity, and involving each individual at each level. (John Oakland)

Traceability - The ability to trace the history, application, use and location of an individual article or its characteristics through recorded identification numbers. (see also ISO 9000 3.5.4)

Turtle diagram - A diagram (see below) illustrating the elements of a process for the purpose of helping an auditor address the relevant question when conducting a process audit. An more effective alternative is the Process Model

Turtle Diagram

Unique identification - An identification that has no equal

Validation - A process for establishing whether an entity will fulfil the purpose for which it has been selected or designed. (see also ISO 9000 3.8.5). For more on validation and verification see Quality System Handbook

Value engineering - A technique for assessing the functions of a product and determining whether the same functions can be achieved with fewer types of components and materials and the product produced with less resource. Variety reduction is an element of value engineering

Values - The standards and principles that determine our behaviour and our opinions. For more on values and culture see Quality System Handbook

Vendor audits - An external audit of a supplier by its customers

Verification - The act of establishing the truth or correctness of a fact, theory, statement or condition. (see also ISO 9000 clause 3.8.4)

Verification activities - A special investigation, test, inspection, demonstration, analysis or comparison of data to verify that a product or service or process complies with prescribed requirements

Verification requirements - Requirements for establishing conformance of a product or service with specified requirements by certain methods and techniques

Vision - Where we want to be in the long term

Waiver - See Concession

Work environment - A set of conditions under which people operates and include physical, social and psychological environmental factors (ISO 9000:2000). For more on the work environment see Quality System Handbook

Work instructions - Instructions that prescribe work to be executed, who is to do it, when it is to start and be complete and how, if necessary, it is to be carried out

Work process - A work process is a sequence of tasks that combine the use of people, machines, tools, methods, environment, instrumentation and materials to convert given inputs into outputs of added value

Workmanship criteria.  - Standards on which to base the acceptability of characteristics created by human manipulation of materials by hand or with the aid of hand tools

Zero defects - The performance standard achieved when every task is performed right first time with no errors being detected downstream


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Last amended 24/08/2013
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