I heard this term from a colleague, however I wasn’t sure what it really meant.

  • $\begingroup$ I don’t think it’s a standard or common engineering term. $\endgroup$
    – Eric S
    Aug 4 '20 at 13:19
  • $\begingroup$ Please add more detail. What was the scenario in which this term was used? $\endgroup$
    – hazzey
    Aug 6 '20 at 13:07

Not sure if it truly applies to Engineering. But I have seen it as a ship moves through the commissioning process, especially military. Deficiencies during testing are documented so they can be fixed.

Commissioning process:

  • Factory Acceptance Tests/Trials (FAT)
  • Shipboard Tests
  • Harbour Acceptance Tests (HAT)
  • Sea Acceptance Tests (SAT)

From SUPSHIP Operations Manual (SOM) - Chapter 10 – Testing, Trials and Delivery

Electronic Trial Cards will be utilized to document known noncompliant discrepancies, including items identified in outstanding Quality Deficiency Reports/Corrective Action Reports. Deficiencies disclosed during all trials will be documented on Electronic Trial Cards and the status maintained in the management data base.


It could mean someone is employed with a "trial period" stated on their contact - if they work out they continue, if not they leave at the end of the given period.

Can work well for either side in some situations.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.