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Is it acceptable or advisable to have a "Quality Systems Glossary"?

M

Mariep26

#1
Hi again,
Now that I have gotten the dreaded first post out of the way, the flood gates are going to open with questions (intelligent ones, I hope)

Here is my next one:

Is it acceptable or advisable to have a "Quality Systems Glossary" type document and simply refer to that in conjunction with ISO 9000:2005? Meaning any definition that is taken as is from the standard would remain in the standard and any definition specific to the organization is captured in the referenced glossary document.

Per my previous post, I am looking for ways to get the QM down from 52 pages and another heavy hitter is the terms section (3 pages worth)

Again any input or ideas would be much appreciated!
Marie
 
#2
Re: Terms and Definitions

Glad you've decided to 'jump in' - the water's fine!

In your own system, I wouldn't suggest it. Partly because, your QMS shouldn't be using terminology that is foreign to the users! The issue with ISO 9001 is that it doesn't use mainstream language that organizations use daily. It's also written for some 144 or more countries, hence the need for definitions. Your QMS should be written for you and yours...
 
T

treesei

#3
Re: Terms and Definitions

In my regulatory affairs world, definition and scope are the very first things to clarify before any discussion can occur. (Someone told me that this was also true to lawyers, which annoyed me.):)

:2cents:

1. Whenever possible, stick to the definitions given by the laws, regulations, or standards like ISO.

2. If there are org-specific terms or terms that the above authority sources did not define, it is necessary to define them within our own system to get everyone on the same page.
 
M

Mariep26

#4
Re: Terms and Definitions

Agree with both posts. Two follow on questions:
1) There is no need to repeat terms in your QM as they are in the standard in a terms and definitions section (frankly the term section in the current QM adds no additional value so I am questioning why it is there)
2) What is the best place to put any terms that are specific to the organization?
 
#5
Re: Terms and Definitions

Agree with both posts. Two follow on questions:
1) There is no need to repeat terms in your QM as they are in the standard in a terms and definitions section (frankly the term section in the current QM adds no additional value so I am questioning why it is there)
2) What is the best place to put any terms that are specific to the organization?
Most people who use the system have no care or clue about 'ISO', so I'm not sure about references to that. I can see the need for some references to regs or such like.

I prefer to see - in a document - the definition spelled out the first time it's used in that document, rather than the reader having to refer some place else: - "The auditor reports the observed NC (non-conformity) and then issues the NC report..." etc.
 
J

Jason PCSwitches

#6
Re: Terms and Definitions

Agree with Andy. They should be defined within the associated documents themselves, I wouldn't recommend an additional document (glossary). You can define them as they are used or add a definition section at the beginning of a particular procedure, either way less is more in this case.
 
T

treesei

#7
Re: Terms and Definitions

I prefer an additional "document" for definitions. Reasons: 1) A term may be used in multiple documents. for example, "first article" to engineering/quality; "process change" to change control. If a definition needs to be modified, it is easier to simply modify the glossary rather than individual documents. 2) When people need to clarify a definition but are not sure in which document it is, they can simply go to that "glossary" to find the answer.

Where will this "glossary" reside? It may be a formal document in the QMS. Or it may be electronical with a link on the company's internal website, with maintenance responsibility clearly assigned. The documents in which the term is used can be built in such a way that by clicking on the term in the e-copy of the document the system automatically takes the reader to the glossary.
 

Marc

Captain Nice
Staff member
Admin
#8
Re: Terms and Definitions

In my regulatory affairs world, definition and scope are the very first things to clarify before any discussion can occur. (Someone told me that this was also true to lawyers, which annoyed me.):)

:2cents:

1. Whenever possible, stick to the definitions given by the laws, regulations, or standards like ISO.

2. If there are org-specific terms or terms that the above authority sources did not define, it is necessary to define them within our own system to get everyone on the same page.
I agree. I am very much PRO glossary and acronym definitions in the first part of a document.
 

Marc

Captain Nice
Staff member
Admin
#9
Re: Terms and Definitions

Agree with Andy. They should be defined within the associated documents themselves, I wouldn't recommend an additional document (glossary). You can define them as they are used or add a definition section at the beginning of a particular procedure, either way less is more in this case.
In general I agree. However... Sometimes it really helps to have a "single source" glossary document. Example: FORD Acronyms (aka 'Initialisms' - Not Always True Acronymns) List

Also see:

Quality / acronyms brainteaser - Awkward transitions from written to spoken
Quality Assurance Terms Glossary
 

Attachments

Jim Wynne

Super Moderator
#10
Hi again,
Now that I have gotten the dreaded first post out of the way, the flood gates are going to open with questions (intelligent ones, I hope)

Here is my next one:

Is it acceptable or advisable to have a "Quality Systems Glossary" type document and simply refer to that in conjunction with ISO 9000:2005? Meaning any definition that is taken as is from the standard would remain in the standard and any definition specific to the organization is captured in the referenced glossary document.

Per my previous post, I am looking for ways to get the QM down from 52 pages and another heavy hitter is the terms section (3 pages worth)

Again any input or ideas would be much appreciated!
Marie
The problem with many (if not most) glossaries is that the people who write them can't write, and the definitions wind up causing more confusion than they alleviate. Here's an example of definitions of two terms from a glossary I got from a supplier a while back:

FA = First Article (First Piece) – Piece part layout 100% to all features listed on PPAP DWG product drawing.
ISIR = Initial Sample Inspection Report – Similar to FA, this uses 2 to 5 for 100% layout on PPAP DWG product drawing.

I think the person who wrote those knew what he meant, but I sure don't, and I was afraid to ask. :tg:
 
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