The Prince2 Project Product template lists Quality Expectations separately to Acceptance Criteria.

What is the difference is between these two items? They seem like the same type of requirement to me.

  • Questions asking for opinions are off-topic for this site and therefore this question is likely to be closed unless you can reword it. It would be worth taking a little time to read the Tour here: pm.stackexchange.com/tour as this gives advice on the kinds of questions encouraged here. You should also note that questions where the asker appears not to have made any effort to research answers beforehand are not as well received- Have you checked the actual definitions of the terms?
    – Marv Mills
    Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 10:45

2 Answers 2


Acceptance criteria defines when a project product is "done" while quality criteria (they don't use the term "Quality Expectations" in the glossary or index of the text) defines how you measure quality of a completed product and what specification has to be met.

From the PRINCE2 text (2009 edition):

Acceptance Criteria A prioritized list of criteria that the project product must meet before the customer will accept it, i.e. measurable definitions of the attributes required fro the set of products to be acceptable to key stakeholders


Quality Criteria A description of the quality specification that the product must meet, and the quality measurements that will be applied by those inspecting the finished product.


The question asks for the difference between (customer's) quality expectations and acceptance critera in the Project Product (Description).
(Words between brackets added to show the correct PRINCE2 terminology.)

The definition of acceptance criteria is given in the first answer. The official PRINCE2 manual gives also the definition of the other element:

customer's quality expectations — A statement about the quality expected from the project product, captured in the Project Product Description.

(see the PRINCE2 2009 Glossary of Terms)

Let's take a simple example to clarify the distinction: you go to a local car dealer in order to buy a new car. The salesman walks up to you and asks what type of car you are looking for.

  • You answer, "A family car that is not too bad for the environment".
    (customer's quality expectations in PRINCE2 terminology)
  • These then need to be translated into something measurable, e.g. a car with 5 seats, and a hybrid engine that meets the most strict emission standard currently in place in your country. (acceptance criteria in PRINCE2)

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