Principles of Quality Management.

Quality Assurance | Quality Management Systems.

In the ISO 9000: 2015 Quality Management Standard, seven quality management principles have been identified as being essential to the creation of an effective Quality Management System. If the principles are applied throughout an organization then the procedures, practices and culture will develop and support a continuously evolving environment with resultant improved performance and enhanced customer experiences. Management need to appreciate the importance of the quality principles, understand the meaning and intent underlying each principle and actively strive to ensure application of each of the principles within their organizations.

Only upon comprehensive implementation, can an effective quality management system and resultant continually improving organizational performance be achieved.

The seven principles relate to ensuring there is a clear focus on understanding and meeting the customer needs, ensuring there is effective organizational leadership with “quality” central to all leadership decisions, ensuring the involvement of all people within the organization, ensuring there are clearly established processes and systems in place to drive improvement, ensuring that improvement is continually applied across the organization, ensuring that all decisions are based on established facts and finally that strong, effective relationships are established with suppliers.


Principle # 1: Customer Focus.

“Organizations depend on their customers and therefore should understand current and future customer needs, should meet customer requirements and strive to exceed customer expectations.”

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Principle # 2: Leadership.

“Leaders establish unity of purpose and direction for the organization.  They should create and maintain the internal environment in which people can become fully involved in achieving the organization’s objectives.”


Principle # 3: Engagement of people.

“People at all levels are the essence of an organization and their full involvement enables their abilities to be used for the organization’s benefit.”


Principle # 4: Process Approach.

“A desired result is achieved more efficiently when activities and related resources are managed in a structured planned way.”


Principle # 5: Improvement.

“Continual improvement of the organization’s overall performance should be a permanent objective of the organization.”


Principle # 6: Evidence Based Decision Making.

“Effective decisions are based on the analysis of data and information.”


Principle # 7: Relationship Management.

“An organization and its key relationships (suppliers, employees, customers, etc.) are interdependent and mutually beneficial relationships enhance the ability of all to create value.”


How to identify if the Principles are being applied?

Do all involved in the organization have an understanding of their customer needs?

Do management regularly communicate direction, current status, risks and achievements?

Are all staff regularly encouraged and facilitated towards improving their contribution to the organizational objectives?

Are staff provided with training on improvement methodologies?

Are problem solving teams established with clear objectives that directly contribute to the organizational objectives?

Are processes clearly defined, well understood, or can confusion arise at times as to how to deal with certain situations?

Are all functional areas, actively contributing to improving their performance? Are the improvements communicated and celebrated throughout the organization?

Are analytical fact based tools and techniques routinely applied throughout the organization? Do changes implemented to address problems, achieve permanent solutions or can problems re-arise?

Are suppliers seen as an integral component of the organization? Do supplier staff sit on problem solving teams? Are suppliers asked to input into the identification of product and process improvements?


Are customers proud to be associated with the products or services they receive.

Is it evident that customers are delighted with the product or service they receive and are loudly communicating their positive experiences?

Quality Assurance | Quality Management Systems.