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p-Glossary

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A quality management system (QMS) is the part of the overall management system that ensures that you can meet or exceed customer expectations for quality in products and services. A QMS includes the development of a formalized quality policy as well as a planning phase outlining the structures, responsibilities, and procedures for quality within an organization. It also includes the verification of those procedures and a focus on continual improvement of the system.

A QMS allows an organization to take control of the quality of its products and services, putting a plan in place for consistency and showing when corrective actions are needed. QMS are quality and productivity tools, and therefore benefit the whole organization. Benefits can also extend to the supply chain if applied throughout, improving product quality and the relationships between suppliers, clients, and end customers.

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See also: ISO 9000

Auditors ascertain the existence or lack (usually tangible) of a practice in a specific or narrow scope of determinants as measured against predetermined or prescribed standards. The final outcome of an audit is usually a yes/no consideration. A quality auditor is a professional who understands the standards and principles of auditing and the auditing techniques of examining, questioning, evaluating, and reporting to determine a quality system’s adequacy and deficiencies. The quality auditor analyzes all elements of a quality system and judges its degree of adherence to the criteria of industrial management and quality evaluation and control systems.

Purchasing power parities (PPPs) are currency converters, i.e., the rates of currency conversion to equalize the purchasing power of different currencies by eliminating the differences in price levels between countries. PPPs show the ratio of prices in national currencies of the same goods or services in different countries. Multilateral PPPs are statistical estimates expressed in a base currency, customarily in the US dolla. They show the equivalent cost of a comparable basket of goods and services, worth $1 in the USA, in the national currencies of other countries.

Protected agriculture (PA) refers to the use of technology to modify the natural environment (temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind, etc.) that surrounds a crop to harvest higher yields, of better quality, during an extended season. PA often employs cutting-edge technologies to enhance the productivity of commercial crops, as well as the quality and safety of agrifood products for greater profitability. Some examples of PA are floating covers, low tunnels, walking tunnels, and greenhouses.

Project cycle management (PCM), originating from ZOPP (the German abbreviation of objective-oriented project planning), consists of three steps: participatory planning; appraisal; and monitoring and evaluation. These three steps are interlinked by a single format called the project planning matrix (PPM). The use of the PPM provides consistency in PCM throughout the project process. Another attribute of PCM is its logical consistency. It analyzes present conditions and problems by clarifying cause and effect, allowing a logical means-to-an-end relationship to be identified. The workshop format is the most prominent feature of PCM. To reach a common understanding for project formulation and management, groups implementing PCM organize a series of workshops with the participation of all stakeholders.

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