This review examines applications of quality management (QM) in language education. QM approaches have been adapted from methodologies developed in industrial and commercial settings, and these are briefly described. Key aspects of QM in language education are the definition of purpose, descriptions of principles and practice, including various descriptive frameworks, and the place of reflective practice and action research. Quality descriptions for different aspects of language teaching – examinations and assessment, education for migrants, for young learners, in mainstream education – are summarised. There is an account of accreditation and recognition of language teaching institutions and a critical review of some of the contradictions and conflicts in the QM approach, such as those between accountability and trust, and between creativity and standardisation. The strengths and weaknesses of auditing and quality inspection methods are examined.