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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Thornhill

What are the 7 Quality Management Principles?

This video introduces the seven quality management principles (QMP's). These principles are based on ISO 9000, ISO9001:2015 and related ISO quality management standards.

If you keep watching the video right to the end, you will get an explanation of the link between these quality management principles and the actual requirements in the standard.

QMP 1: Customer Focus

Being a customer focused organisation means that at all levels, you must work hard to understand and meet your customer requirements. This means that customer focus is being reinforced and communicated right from top management.

You need to monitor and measure your ability to meet these requirements through determining the level of customer satisfaction. Being a customer focused organisation is important because it is the basis of ongoing sustainability and profitability of your business.

Meeting customer needs will benefit you due to:

  • Improved reputation across your business

  • Reduction in re-work costs

  • Maintaining of profit margins across the business

QMP 2: Leadership

The second principle, leadership is reinforcing that idea of top management being a critical factor in achieving customer focus. Leaders have a key role in supporting the system and the people within your organisation.

Oftentimes when implementing a management system, there can be some resistance to change across the organisation.

Because of this, top management's commitment and support is crucial in supporting the change, where you do see some resistance. This will include providing the budgets and authorities to do what you need to do.

QMP 3: Engagement of People

The third principle is around engagement of people, which is simply saying that people in your business are the essence of whatever you do.

Your employees knowledge is critical in the products and services supplied, so it is essential to engage with them frequently.

You need to consider their expertise and skill set and then empower your employees based on this. This will improve the trust and involvement of people right across the organisation.

QMP 4: Process Approach

The fourth principle is process approach, which essentially states that you need to have a solid understanding of what you do in order to meet customer requirements.

You need to plan and manage your processes as one coordinated, consistent process - regardless of which departments and teams the work goes across. That will be an effective and efficient way to meet the needs of the customer.

QMP 5: Continual Improvement

Being an organisation that focuses on continual improvement will mean that you are always aiming to improve your ability to meet the needs of the customer.

This is important because you need to keep up with the competition. Just because you are the best service now in 2020, doesn't guarantee that you will be in 2025.

QMP 6: Evidence-Based Decision Making

The next principle is around evidence-based decision making. This is not saying that every single decision made has to have evidence behind it because sometimes it is more effective to rely on the judgment and expertise of your staff.

But it's just saying as a business, if you do have quality evidence or data with some integrity behind it, that could support an important business decision.

QMP 7: Relationship Management

The final principle, relationship management is taking into account all of the stakeholders working on your product or service.

If you think about a product you specialize in, you will have supplier and possibly subcontractors who work on the product for you. You may also outsource parts of what you do, or even have internal stakeholders to communicate with.

You rely on those suppliers and outsourced parties to provide a critical contribution that allows you to meet customer needs. Because of this, you need to manage these relationships effectively and appropriately.


What people don't always understand is they see these principles, but forget that they relate to each and every clause or requirement in the ISO 9001 standard.

So, if you look at a requirement from section 4 through to section 10, the link is that each and every requirement is there for a reason. ISO doesn't add a requirement for no reason.

Each and every requirement in the standard can be mapped back to one or more of the principles that we've just run through.

That can really help you orient yourself. If you have a requirement that you don't understand, try to relate it back to one of these quality management principles to see if that helps.


We hope you're learning a lot on your journey, if you are, we encourage you to subscribe. We've got a whole bunch of videos that will help you on your way.

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