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An academic department at a higher educational institution that wishes to provide a customer focused product or service in a consistent way has to put a more prominent and official management system in place. Such a system will bring about synergy between academic and supporting functions, and will also link the different academic and support processes to customer and stakeholder requirements through a set of management system requirements. Currently, tertiary education institutions throughout South Africa, as well as in the rest of the world, focus their quality efforts on the quality assurance of academic programs, but not necessarily on the effective and efficient implementation and utilization of all processes that deliver those educational programs. Since the first introduction of the concept of total quality management, as well as the latest international ISO9000:2000 quality management system standard, quality has moved away from the traditional focus of assurance to that of ensuring quality, through the effective and efficient management of all business processes. As a step to move from quality assurance to ensuring quality, a holistic implementation framework for a quality management system, based on the ISO9000:2000 series of quality management system standards, is proposed that will enable an academic department at a higher education institution to provide a customer focused product or service in a consistent way, by focusing on the core business processes that deliver the service.