Definition of terms

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Name Description Related terms

The potential hazard of a chemical to the environment. It can be determined by dividing the estimated environmental concentration of the chemical by the relevant toxicity concentration. The resulting quotient, Q, then provides a measure of the risk to the organism concerned.


In terms of manufacturing, the action of confirming that any equipment used, or process step applied, in the manufacturing process works correctly and actually leads to the expected results. The qualification process can be applied to equipment installation (installation qualification or IQ), equipment operation under different operating conditions (operational qualification of OQ), or equipment operation as part of a specific process (process qualification or PQ). Validation is often the sum of qualification steps.

qualitative analysis

The use of a narrative form or descriptive scales to describe the characteristics of, and likelihood of, each event arising and its consequences. An analysis that ascertains the nature of the attributes, behaviour, or opinions of the entity being measured.

qualitative data

Information that is difficult to measure, count, or express in numerical terms.

qualitative research

Research involving detailed, verbal descriptions of characteristics, cases and settings. Qualitative research typically uses observation, interviewing and document review to collect data.


for chemicals

The suitability of either an active constituent or agvet chemical product for its intended use. This term includes attributes such as the identity, strength or purity.

quality assurance

in the conduct of a trial or study

Those procedures and controls, including inspections and audits, that are designed to monitor studies to assure the quality of the data.

in manufacturing

The sum total of arrangements made to ensure that products are consistently manufactured in an appropriate manner to the quality standards required for their intended use.

quality control

The processes concerned with specifications, sampling and testing and with the organisation, documentation and release procedures that ensure that the necessary and relevant tests are carried out. Quality control ensures that materials are not released for use, nor products released for supply or sale, until their quality has been judged to be satisfactory. Quality control processes are part of a quality assurance system.

quality control function

The procedures carried out by a manufacturer to ensure that effective quality control is carried out at all stages of the manufacturing process and that the finished product meets required specifications.


To attach numbers to an observation.

quantitative analysis

An analysis that ascertains the magnitude, amount, or size (eg of the attributes, behaviour, or opinions) of the entity being measured.

The use of numerical data to describe the characteristics of, and likelihood of, each event arising and its consequences.

quantitative data

Information that can be expressed in numerical terms, counted, or compared on a scale.

quantitative research

Research that examines a phenomenon through the numerical representation of observations and statistical analysis.

Quantitative structure activity relationship model (QSAR)

Quantitative structure activity relationship models are used to relate a set of predictor variables (eg physicochemical properties of a chemical) to response variables (eg biological activity) and may be used to predict values in situations where experimental or analogue data are not available.


The control of import and export of plants, animals and commodities to prevent spread of diseases and pests.

The holding of an imported plant, animal or commodity in isolation for a period to ensure their freedom from pests and diseases.

In terms of manufacturing, the status of starting materials, or intermediate, bulk or finished products that are isolated, whether physically or by a system, while awaiting a decision on their suitability for processing or for sale and distribution.

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