Keeping Technical Terms Simple

Definitions of ISO Related Terminology

Asset Inventory
This is a list of a company’s assets such as alarms; storage, personnel, information database, laptops, mobile phones; and a note of who takes responsibility for this.
Aspects and Impacts Register
The ability to assess the areas of a business which may have a detrimental effect on the environment and allows the company to calculate the potential impact on the environment.
An audit is a review (or a check) of the management system and its compulsory elements. It is a snapshot of the activities that a company undertakes that prove compliance to the standard at the time of the audit.
Stands for British Standard.
Certification is the stamp of approval by a 3rd party organisation to state that ‘you are doing what you say you are doing, and proving it’.
When a company meets the requirements of either a process or a procedure.
Continual Improvement
This is an on-going effort to improve products, services or processes by the business. Implementation Is putting a decision or plan into effect.
Controlled Document Register
A master list of a company’s standard forms, including each form’s individual reference number and date it was issued throughout the company.
Corrective Action
A plan created by management to address when something goes wrong (i.e. non-conformance). Corrective actions lead to continual improvement.
Document Control
Ensuring that the most current version is in use by issuing a document with a reference and issue number so that the correct version of the document is used at all times.
GAP Analysis
See Initial Assessment.
Initial Assessment
A report on where a company currently stands, and where they need to be, against the compulsory elements of the standard/s.
Stands for the International Organization for Standardisation which is based in Geneva.
Management Review Meetings
This is a meeting to evaluate the management system that a company has in place at planned intervals and includes the assessment of opportunities for improvement through effective objective setting.
Management System
A management system is a proven framework to continually improve/monitor an organisation with any given focus i.e. quality management.
Non Conformance
When something happens within the business that shouldn’t have happened and once recorded provides an opportunity for improvement.
Preventive Action
Is an action undertaken to lower the risk of potential issues i.e. installing computer back up to ensure nothing is lost.
A process is a series of actions completed to achieve a desired outcome, with a focus on satisfying the customer.
A procedure is a set way of doing something and is driven by the completion of a task with a focus on satisfying the rules.
Record Control
A record is a completed document (see Document Control). Record control is the method by which a company makes finding individual records efficient. It can also refer to how it files, removes and destroys individual records.
Internal Review
This is an in-depth review of a company’s management system, to ensure it is on track for the end of year re-certification audit. This also ensures the company satisfies internal audit requirements laid out in the standard.
Standard Operating Procedure
A formal document describing an organisation’s working instructions and how to follow them.
Standard Form
A form/document that you use on a regular basis. I.e. a training record.
Re-Certification Audit
A formal evaluation of a company’s management system to ensure full compliance is met to allow for the re-certification for a further year.
Internal Auditing
An internal review of a company’s activities against the individual processes or procedures, normally conducted by the company’s own staff.
Risk Assessment
To assess potential risks relating to a company and calculating the risk that it could have on your business, customers and /or employees.