Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to present an empirical study, which examines the relationship between continuous improvement (CI) and maintenance performance. By examining CI in relation to maintenance performance, this study seeks to increase the understanding of quality management practices in the field of maintenance. Design/methodology/approach - The empirical data for this study were drawn from a survey of Slovenian organizations in order to address the research problem. Several statistical methods including correlation analysis, regression analysis as well as principal component analysis (PCA) are utilized to accomplish the objective of the study. Findings - The findings suggest that CI significantly and positively relates to maintenance performance. In addition, findings advocate the importance of incorporation of quality management practices into maintenance processes. Research limitations/implications - Based on the findings of this study, it is concluded that future research could broaden the investigation to identify more complex measures of CI. Moreover, sample size should be expanded to a larger group in order to increase the generalizability of the results. Practical implications - The study contributes to a better understanding of CI activities in the field of maintenance and therefore provides insights for managers to recognize the role of CI activities and understand their effect in enhancing the maintenance performance. Originality/value - The findings provide empirical evidence that CI is shown to be an effective way of improving maintenance performance.