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ISO 9001 Principles

What are the principles of ISO 9001?

Implementing an ISO 9001 Quality Management System can help your business strengthen its performance.

At the heart of the ISO suite of quality standards are the seven quality principles that will guide you through the process of continual improvement. Following these principles will help you gain maximum benefit from these standards.

The seven principles of quality management are:

  1. Engagement of people
  2. Customer focus
  3. Leadership
  4. Process approach
  5. Improvement
  6. Evidence-based decision making
  7. Relationship management

These principles are the basis of the ISO 9000 suite of quality standards, including ISO 9001:2015.

1. Engagement of People

Getting your team involved in the management system

Openly discussing issues and sharing knowledge and experience with your team is critical to benefiting from ISO 9001 implementation. It is essential that everyone in the company understands their role and feels valued for their contribution to its success. This will not only help you achieve certification but will also demonstrate your organisation’s commitment to improving quality.

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2. Customer focus

Focus on your customer and their needs

Developing a strong customer focus is an excellent way of demonstrating your commitment to quality. As well as satisfying customers, your business should consider the interests of other stakeholders, whether owners, employees, suppliers, investors or the wider community.

3. Leadership

Develop a strong management team

Strong leadership means you have a clear vision of your company’s future. Communicating this vision effectively will ensure your whole team works towards the same objectives. This shared sense of purpose can help increase employee motivation and productivity.

4. Process Approach

Create a process culture

The Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) principle of the ISO 9001 standard will help you promote a process driven culture across your organisation. This is a proven way of ensuring you plan, resource and manage your processes and their interactions effectively.

By managing the different areas in your business together, as a unified and interlinked system, you will find that you encourage more effective processes, making it easier to achieve your objectives. Measuring and evaluating these interrelated processes will also help you to identify areas for improvement.

5. Improvement

Embrace continual improvement

Continual improvement is essential to the ISO 9001 Quality Management System and should be your organisation’s core objective. Following the standard’s mandatory procedures will enable you to react quickly and efficiently to opportunities, giving you a competitive advantage and leading to sustained success.
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6. Evidence-based decision making

Base your decisions on facts

Accurate and reliable data is essential for making informed decisions. You should make such information available to all who need it in the organisation. This will improve communications, drive continual improvement and help you reach your business objectives.

7. Relationship management

Develop mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers

Your suppliers can be a source of competitive advantage but it requires a relationship built on trust. Creating such lasting relationships with suppliers and other interested parties means balancing short-term financial gains with long-term, mutually beneficial strategies.

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Benefits of the quality principles

Implementing these seven quality principles during your ISO 9001 certification process can deliver numerous benefits. These include improvements to customer satisfaction and loyalty, increased employee motivation and productivity, and more efficient use of resources. Continually strengthening your processes will also increase revenues and enable you to build market share by responding rapidly to new opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the eight principles of quality management?

What are the seven principles of quality management?

Who developed the quality principles?

When were the quality management principles introduced to ISO standards?

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