There are are several important models that can be used to guide the development of a QMS.
In manufacturing industries statistical process control is vitally important methodology used to control quality. This is important in the Six Sigma quality management scheme pioneered by Motorola.
The International Organization for Standardization's ISO 9000 series describes standards for a QMS addressing the processes surrounding the design, development and delivery of a general product or service. Organisations can participate in a continuing certification process to demonstrate their compliance with the standard.
The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is a competition to identify and recognise top-quality U.S. companies. This model addresses a broadly based range of quality criteria, including commercial success and corporate leadership. Once a organisation has won the award they have to wait several years before being eligible to apply again.
The European Foundation for Quality Management's EFQM Excellence Model supports and award scheme similar to the Malcom Baldrige Award, but aimed at European companies.