Business Dictionary – Q

Qualifying Period

    The length of time an employee must serve in a job before being entitled to various benefits, or being able to make a claim against unfair dismissal.


    An attribute or level of excellence. The standard of a product, service, etc., as measured against similar products, services, etc. A distinctive characteristic or attribute possessed by someone or something.

Quality Assurance

    QA. A system in which the delivery of a service or the quality of a product is maintained to a high standard, especially by means of attention to every stage of the process.


    Associated with a thing’s quality which cannot be measured, such as feel, image, taste, etc. Describes peoples qualities which cannot be measured, such as knowledge, behaviour, attitude, etc.

Quality Circle

    Originating in Japan, a group of workers in a company who meet regularly to discuss ways in which to improve working conditions for employees and productivity for the company.


    Related to or measured in numbers. Comparison based on quantity rather than quality.

Qualitative Analysis

    The subjective appraisal of a project or investment for which there is no quantifiable data.

Qualitative Research

    Research that focuses on "soft" data, for example, attitude research or focus groups.

Quantity Surveyor

    A professional who works in the construction industry, whose job is to calculate the cost of materials, labour, etc., needed to complete a project.

Quarter Day

    A fixed day of each quarter of the year on which certain payments, such as rents, are due.


    A form containing a list of research or survey questions for people to answer, so that information can be gathered for analysis.


    The minimum number of people who must attend a meeting in order for valid business to be conducted. The term is from the 15th/16th century and the earliest use of English, specifically from the Latin phrase used at the start of commissions for committee members, "quorum vos … unum esse volumus," loosely meaning, "of whom we specify that … be one."


    An official allocation of something, or a limited amount of people allowed. A fixed amount of something, e.g. sales, which must be reached.

Quoted Company

    A company whose shares are listed on the Stock Exchange.