Quality Management Principle 3

The Introduction section of ISO 9001:2008, Quality management systems – Requirements, notes that the standard was developed based on the eight Quality Management Principles listed below. These principles can be used by top management as a framework to guide their organizations towards improved performance.

1. Customer focus
2. Leadership
3. Involvement of people
4. Process approach
5. System approach to management
6. Continual improvement
7. Factual approach to decision making
8. Mutually beneficial supplier relationships

The eight principles are briefly defined in ISO 9000:2005, Quality management systems – Fundamentals and vocabulary, and more fully described in Annex B of ISO 9004:2009, Managing for the sustained success of an organization – A quality management approach.

Principle 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.


The benefits of this principle include having motivated, committed, and involved people within the organization. This will lead to more innovation and creativity in furthering the organization’s objectives. People will be accountable for their own performance, and eager to participate in and contribute to continual improvement.


Applying the principle of people involvement typically leads to people:

  • Understanding the importance of their contribution and role in the organization
  • Identifying constraints to their performance
  • Accepting ownership of problems and their responsibility for solving them
  • Evaluating their performance against their personal goals and objectives
  • Actively seeking opportunities to enhance their competence, knowledge, and experience
  • Freely sharing knowledge and experience
  • Openly discussing problems and issues.

Three other articles in this May 2013 newsletter address principles 1, 2, and 4. The remaining quality management principles will be covered in the June 2013 newsletter.