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Terms relating to Organization in QMS

we shall try to define and understand some of the terms used in quality management system. The standard ISO 9000:2005 is the basis on which the terms are defined.

3) Terms relating to Organization:

Terms relating to Organization as defined in ISO 9000:2005 are:

3.1) Organization

ISO 9000 definition:

“Group of people and facilities with an arrangement of responsibilities, authorities and relationships”
EXAMPLE Company, corporation, firm, enterprise, institution, charity, sole trader, association, or parts or combination thereof.
NOTE 1 The arrangement is generally orderly.
NOTE 2 An organization can be public or private.


An organization  is an entity, such as an institution or an association, that has a collective goal and is linked to an external environment.A social unit of people that is structured and managed to meet a need or to pursue collective goals. All organizations have a management structure that determines relationships between the different activities and the members, and subdivides and assigns roles, responsibilities, and authority to carry out different tasks. Organizations are open systems–they affect and are affected by their environment.

3.2) organizational structure

ISO 9000 definition:

“Arrangement of responsibilities, authorities and relationships between people”
NOTE 1 The arrangement is generally orderly,
NOTE 2 A formal expression of the organizational structure is often provided in a quality manual  or a quality plan for a project.
NOTE 3 The scope of an organizational structure can include relevant interfaces to external organizations .


An organizational structure defines how activities such as task allocation, coordination and supervision are directed towards the achievement of organizational objective. The typically hierarchical arrangement of lines of authority, communications, rights and duties of an organization. Organizational structure determines how the roles, power and responsibilities are assigned, controlled, and coordinated, and how information flows between the different level levels of management. A structure depends on the organization’s objectives and strategy. The organizational structure of an organization tells you the character of an organization and the values it believes in. An organizational chart illustrates the organizational structure

3.3) Infrastructure

ISO 9000 definition:

“(organization) system of facilities, equipment and services needed for the operation of an organization”


The term infrastructure refers to the entire system of facilities, equipment, and services that an organization needs in order to function. According to ISO 9001, Part 6.3, the term infrastructure includes buildings and workspaces (including related utilities), process equipment (both hardware and software), support services (such as transportation and communications), and information systems. Essential pieces of plant and equipment must be maintained, specifically:

  1. Buildings and workspaces
  2. Tools and process equipment, both hardware and software
  3. Support services, such as transport, I.T. and communication

3.4) Work environment

ISO 9000 definition:

“Set of conditions under which work is performed”
NOTE Conditions include physical, social, psychological and environmental factors (such as temperature, recognition, schemes, ergonomics and atmospheric composition).

The term work environment refers to working conditions.Location where a task is completed. When pertaining to a place of employment, the work environment involves the physical geographical location as well as the immediate surroundings of the workplace, such as a construction site or office building. Typically involves other  factors relating to the place of employment, such as the quality of the air, noise level, and additional perks an benefits of employment such as free child care or unlimited coffee, or adequate parking. It refers to all of the conditions and factors that influence work. In general, these include physical, social, psychological, and environmental conditions and factors. Work environment includes lighting, temperature, and noise factors, as well as the whole range of ergonomic influences. It also includes things like supervisory practices as well as reward and recognition programs. All of these things influence work.

3.5) Customer

ISO 9000 definition:

“Organization  or person that receives a product”
EXAMPLE Consumer, client, end-user, retailer, beneficiary and purchaser.
NOTE A customer can be internal or external to the organization.


A customer is anyone who receives products or services from a supplier organization. A customer can be defined as  party that receives or consumes products (goods or services) and has the ability to choose between different products and suppliers.  From  quality control point of view it can be defined as an entity within a firm who establishes the requirement of a process (accounting, for example) and receives the output of that process (a financial statement, for example) from one or more internal or external suppliers. Customers can be people or organizations and can be either external or internal to the supplier organization.
For example, a factory may supply products or services to another factory (customer) within the same organization. According to ISO 9000, examples of customers include clients, consumers, end-users, purchasers, retailers, and beneficiaries.

3.6) Supplier

ISO 9000 definition:

“Organization  or person that provides a product.”
EXAMPLE Producer, distributor, retailer or vendor of a product, or provider of a service or information.
NOTE 1 A supplier can be internal or external to the organization.
NOTE 2 In a contractual situation, a supplier is sometimes called “contractor”.


A supplier is a person or an organization that provides products. A supplier can be defined as a party that supplies goods or services. A supplier may be distinguished from a  contractor or subcontractor, who commonly adds specialized input to deliverables. Also called vendor.   Suppliers can be either internal or external to the organization. Internal suppliers provide products to people within their own  organization while external suppliers provide products to other organizations. Examples of suppliers include organizations and people who produce, distribute, or sell products, provide services, or publish information.

3.7)  Interested party

ISO 9000 definition:

“Person or group having interest in the performance or success of an organization.”
EXAMPLE Customers, owners, people in an organization, suppliers, bankers, unions,partners or society.
NOTE A group can comprise an organization, a part thereof, or more than one organization.


An interested party is a person or group that has a stake in the success or performance of an organization.  Interested parties may be directly affected by the organization or actively concerned about its performance. Interested parties can come from inside or outside of the organization. Examples of interested parties include customers, suppliers, owners, partners, employees, unions, bankers, or members of the general public. Interested parties are also referred to as stakeholders.

3.8) Contract

ISO 9000 definition:
“Binding agreement”

A contract is  a voluntary, deliberate, and legally binding agreement between two or more competent parties. Contracts are usually written but may be spoken or implied, and generally have to do with employment, sale or lease, or tenancy. A contractual relationship is evidenced by (1) an offer, (2) acceptance of the offer, and a (3) valid (legal and valuable) consideration. Each party to a contract acquires rights and duties relative to the rights and duties of the other parties.

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