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In July 2002, Quality Progress published a 19-page glossary of quality terms. It proved to be one of our most popular articles in recent years, as indicated by the numerous compliments, suggestions and reprint requests we received. Joseph Juran even took notice: He sent editors a letter in which he called the glossary “a masterpiece of research and clarity” that “should provide useful inputs tothe quality manuals of many companies.” Nearly five years later, we revisit that glossary, with several updated definitions and new entries, many from the lean glossary we published in June 2005. In the spirit of continuous improvement, we ask you to send us your input, including any changes or additions you think are necessary. E-mail dnelsen@asq.org or call 800-248-1946 x8742. Also, be sure tobookmark the online version of our glossary, at www.asq.org/glossary.

Academic Quality Improvement Project (AQIP): A forum for higher education institutions to review one another’s action projects. Acceptable quality level (AQL): In a continuing series of lots, a quality level that, for the purpose of sampling inspection, is the limit of a satisfactory process average. Acceptance number: Themaximum number of defects or defectives allowable in a sampling lot for the lot to be acceptable. Acceptance sampling: Inspection of a sample from a lot to decide whether to accept that lot. There are two types: attributes sampling and variables sampling. In attributes sampling, the presence or absence of a characteristic is noted in each of the units inspected. In variables sampling, the numericalmagnitude of a characteristic is measured and recorded for each inspected unit; this involves reference to a continuous scale of some kind. Acceptance sampling plan: A specific plan that indicates the sampling sizes and associated acceptance or nonacceptance criteria to be used. In attributes sampling, for example, there are single, double, multiple, sequential, chain and skip-lot sampling plans.In variables sampling, there are single, double and sequential sampling plans. For detailed descriptions of these plans, see the stan-

dard ANSI/ISO/ASQ A3534-2-1993: Statistics—Vocabulary and Symbols—Statistical Quality Control. Accreditation: Certification by a recognized body of the facilities, capability, objectivity, competence and integrity of an agency, service or operational group orindividual to provide the specific service or operation needed. The term has multiple meanings depending on the sector. Laboratory accreditation assesses the capability of a laboratory to conduct testing, generally using standard test methods. Accreditation for healthcare organizations involves an authoritative body surveying and verifying compliance with recognized criteria, similar tocertification in other sectors. NEW! Accreditation body: An organization with authority to accredit other organizations to perform services such as quality system certification. Accuracy: The characteristic of a measurement that tells how close an observed value is to a true value. Action plan: A specific method or process to achieve the results called for by one or more objectives. It can be a simplerversion of a project plan. NEW! Activity based costing: An accounting system that assigns costs to a product based on the amount of resources used to design, order or make it. Activity network diagram: An arrow diagram used in planning


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and managing processes and projects. Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP): High level automotiveprocess for product realization, from design through production part approval. NEW! Adverse event: Healthcare term for any event that is not consistent with the desired, normal or usual operation of the organization; also known as a sentinel event. Affinity diagram: A management tool for organizing information (usually gathered during a brainstorming activity). Alignment: Actions to ensure that a...
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