Almost all the 342 authorities that responded to the survey use quality initiatives, but only ISO 9000 was given a high effectivess rating.
Some 81% of councils found ISO 9000 effective, while total quality management scored lowest with only 23% of respondents finding it effective.
The other quality initiatives surveyed for their effectiveness were service charters, customer involvement and complaints procedures.
According to the report, the Local Government Association has already made the promotion and development of quality in local government one of its critical measures of success over the next five years.
Complaints procedures are the most commonly used quality initiative, with 96% of councils having one in place in at least one department. Service charters are used by 71% of councils.
Councils have increased the use of staff training to improve quality, with 92% of authorities using it. 88% of councils use performance targets.
The report says councils need to share good practice to ensure local government is effective in its work with private, voluntary and other public sectors.