The authors put forward a methodological proposal for introducing quality assurance into animal health service provision in developing countries, based on the experience of Brazil. This proposal is based on three key elements. The first and most important element is the continuing development of those involved in the process, not only from the technical and administrative standpoint (know-how), but also in terms of modelling new forms of behaviour and attitudes for the provision of services (social and personal skills). This requires a culture of ethical values, motivation and team working to ensure that those involved in the process become committed, highly effective employees who identify with the Veterinary Service’s objectives as if they were their own. The second key element of this methodology is to consider the various health services to be provided as processes and to treat each of these services as a set of activities, inputs and procedures that are systematically organised for delivering the specified animal health service. Working with processes not only makes it possible to properly plan each service, it also facilitates the identification, analysis and effective resolution of any problems that may arise while the service is being delivered. The third key element of the proposed methodology is the constant control and improvement of the processes making up the various health services, in particular using the Deming cycle (plan – do – check – act). The proposed strategy calls for realism and pragmatism in order to avoid creating false expectations by developing over-ambitious quality systems. It is advisable to avoid major publicity at the start of activities and to create well-defined, localised improvement programmes with anticipated results that are simple, direct and discernible to any observer within a short time frame. In the early stages, the term “quality” needs to be replaced with “better service delivery”. It is necessary to ensure that staff is given some type of acknowledgement or feedback when positive results are achieved. Great emphasis must be placed on staff motivation and awareness-raising activities.