Audit: Examination of a service provider’s data and processes to determine performance against criteria, specific procedures or standards. An audit may be undertaken by the service provider (self-assessment) and/or an independent authority (external audit).

Certification / accreditation: Confirmation by an authorised body that a service provider meets all requirements of a set of standards and/or quality program.

Comply / compliance: Meeting and/or fulfilling official requirements, particularly in relation to government and industry legislation, regulation and standards. 

Continuous improvement / quality improvement: Ongoing review and adaption to improve services, processes or products. Improvements may be incremental over time and/or significant stand-alone advancements.

Criteria: Specific requirements that need to be met.

Customer: People who access or use services of the service provider organisation.

Data: Information collected for use in planning, decision making or evaluation. This may include statistical information about service use, feedback from people, reviews of processes and systems, or information in existing documentation.

Evaluation: A formal process of assessing how successful an activity, program or plan has been.

Evidence: Documents, reports and other information that demonstrates compliance or performance.

Governance: Rules and structures that set out how service providers, groups and communities collectively organise and manage themselves. Some rules and structures may be legislated or mandatory while some will be adopted by choice by the governing body.

Governing body: The group of people accountable and legally responsible for governance of the service provider organisation (usually a Board of Directors or members of a management committee).

Independent third party audits: Review and assessment of the extent to which the service provider meets quality and/or industry standards, undertaken by reviewers/auditors from an authorised external body.

Monitor: To regularly check, supervise, critically observe, or record progress of an activity, action or system to identify change over time.

Objectives: Results or outcomes an organisation plans to achieve; sometimes referred to as goals or aims, but more specific than broad aims.

On-site review: Part of an external audit where an independent third party auditing body reviews the service provider’s data and processes at the service provider’s premises and service delivery sites (also known as an on-site audit).

Organisation culture: A system of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs expressed through behaviours, customs and practices of people within the service provider organisation.

Policy: Concise formal statements which outline what the service provider adheres to and aims to achieve on particular matters. 

Procedure: Details and steps of how a service provider policy is to be applied and achieved.

Qualitative: Relating to the quality of something rather than its quantity.

Quality: The standard of a service, process or product.

Quality management: Processes for maintaining and improving desired levels of service delivery and operational standards. The intent of quality management for the service provider in working towards its strategic goals is to provide the best possible experience and outcomes for customers, staff, governing body members, and other stakeholders.

Quantitative: Relating to a measure or number – how many, how long, times.

Risk: The chance of something happening that will have an adverse impact on a service provider’s objectives. Risk is measured in terms of likelihood and consequences.

Risk management: Ongoing identification, analysis, assessment and control or elimination of organisation risks.

Staff: People employed by the organisation to undertake defined roles and responsibilities; may include both paid personnel (employees) and unpaid personnel (volunteers).

Stakeholders: Any person internal or external to the organisation (such as staff, family members/carers, advocates service provider or organisation) with an interest in the performance or operations of a service provider organisation.

Standards (industry or service standards): Specific procedures or outcomes that service providers can follow to meet requirements or implement good practice within an industry area.

Strategy / strategic direction: Planned course of action based on an analysis of the service provider’s operating environment and internal resources.

Verification: Checking of evidence to ascertain compliance. 

WHS: Workplace health and safety.

Last modified: Sunday, 25 October 2015, 3:10 PM