8 principles of Quality Management

When ISO 9001 (the international standard for quality management) was revised and re-issued in 2000 it was based on 8 quality management principles which should be applied when an organisation develops its QMS. Each quality management principle relates to several clauses of the standard and this promoted the understanding of the QMS as a complete and integrated system.

  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.
    Applicable clauses include: 5.2 Customer focus, 7.2 Customer related processes, 8.2.1 Customer satisfaction
  2. Leadership
    Leaders establish unity of purpose and direction of the organization. They should create and maintain the internal environment in which people can become fully involved in achieving the organization’s objectives.
    Applicable clauses include: 5.3 Quality policy, 5.4 Planning, 5.5 Responsibility, authority and communication, 5.6 Management review.
  3. Involvement 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.
    Applicable clauses include: 5.5.2 Management representative, 6.2 Human resources, 7.4.2 Purchasing information, 7.5.2 Validation of processes.

  4. Process approach
    A desired result is achieved more efficiently when activities and related resources are managed as a process.
    Applicable clauses include: 0.2 Process approach, 4.1 General requirements, 4.2 Documentation requirements, 5.5.2 Management representative, 7.1 Planning of product realization.

  5. System approach to management
    Identifying, understanding and managing interrelated processes as a system contributes to the organization’s effectiveness and efficiency in achieving its objectives.
    Applicable clauses include: 5.3 Quality policy, 5.5.2 Management representative, 7 Product realisation, 8.2.4 Monitoring and measurement of product, 8.4 Analysis of data.

  6. Continual improvement
    Continual improvement of the organization’s overall performance should be a permanent objective of the organization.
    Applicable clauses include: 0.2 Process approach, 1 Scope, 4.1 General requirements, 5.1 Management responsibility, 5.3 Quality policy, 6 Resource management, 8.1 Measurement, analysis and improvement, 8.4 Analysis of data, 8.5.1 Continual improvement.

  7. Factual approach to decision making
    Effective decisions are based on the analysis of data and information.
    Applicable clauses include: 5.6 Management review, 8.4 Analysis of data
  8. Mutually beneficial supplier relationships
    An organization and its suppliers are interdependent and a mutually beneficial relationship enhances the ability of both to create value.
    Applicable clauses include: 7.4 Purchasing

These principles were not immediately obvious as they were included in the supporting documents ISO 9000:2000 Fundamentals and vocabulary  and ISO 9004:2000 Guidelines for performance improvement.
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