A quality management system (QMS) is a collection of business processes focused on achieving quality policy and quality objectives to meet customer requirements. It is expressed as the organizational structure, policies, procedures, processes and resources needed to implement quality management. Early systems emphasized predictable outcomes of an industrial product production line, using simple statistics and random sampling. By the 20th century, Labor inputs were typically the most costly inputs in most industrialized societies, so focus shifted to team cooperation and dynamics, especially the early signaling of problems via a continuous improvement cycle.

A QMS process is an element of an organizational QMS. The ISO9001:2000 standard requires organizations seeking compliance or certification to define the processes which form the QMS and the sequence and interaction of these processes.

Examples of such processes include:

  • Order Processing
  • Production planning
  • Measurement of product/ service/ process compliant with specified requirements including statistical techniques such as Statistical Process Control and Measurement Systems Analysis
  • Calibration
  • Internal Audit
  • Corrective Action
  • Preventive Action
  • Internal AuditIdentification, labeling and control of non-conforming product to preclude its inadvertent use, delivery or processing.
  • Purchasing and related processes such as supplier selection and monitoring

ISO 9001 requires that the performance of these processes be measured, analyzed and continually improved, and the results of this form an input into the management review process.