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Quality Principles

ISO 9001 is based upon specific quality principles, which are defined in: 

These are timeless ideas which will help you align your organization with all of your stakeholders: customers, suppliers & employees. Here is a summary of the Quality Principles, along with some supporting information on how to apply it to your organization (ISO Website has more detailed version).

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.

Do you carefully review your customer’s requirements?

How do you know if your customers are satisfied?

Principle 2: Leadership

Your organization’s leaders are the top level of management. They 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.

The captain guides the ship, and likewise Top Management has a responsibility to embrace these principles and your quality management system.

Specifically, your organization’s leadership should hold management review meetings to keep your QMS (and organization) running smoothly.

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.

ISO 9001 requires training to ensure employees have the tools they need to do their job and contribute to the success of your organization.

In order for people to support your quality initiatives, they must understand them. We recommend an employee overview of ISO 9001.

Principle 4: Process approach

A desired result is achieved more efficiently when activities and related resources are managed as a process.

A process is a set of activities that uses resources (people, machines, etc.) to transform inputs into outputs. Every organization is made up of a series of interacting processes.

Principle 5: Improvement

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

Auditing your QMS and improving your processes is a key requirement of ISO 9001.

Principle 6: Evidence based decision making

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

When the data reveals that an area is under performing, it is important to take corrective actions to improve performance.

Root Cause Analysis is good way to determine the source of the problem for knowing what corrective actions should be taken.

Principle 7: Relationship management

An organization and its suppliers are interdependent and a mutually beneficial relationship enhances the ability of both to create value.


Your organization is unique, so there is not one right answer as to the application of these principles above. However, implementing ISO 9001 can help establish a solid basis for improved quality and customer satisfaction.

REMEMBER, ISO 9001 implementation and certification requires strict adherence to a very detailed process. Our All-In-One Package is designed to minimize both your workload and disruption to your business by providing a proven, clear road map for you to follow.

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