Quantum information processors promise fast algorithms for problems inaccessible to classical computers. But since qubits are noisy and error-prone, they will depend on fault-tolerant quantum error correction (FTQEC) to compute reliably. Quantum error correction can protect against general noise if - and only if - the error in each physical qubit operation is smaller than a certain threshold. The threshold for general errors is quantified by their diamond norm. Until now, qubits have been assessed primarily by randomized benchmarking, which reports a different error rate that is not sensitive to all errors, and cannot be compared directly to diamond norm thresholds. Here we use gate set tomography to completely characterize operations on a trapped-Yb+-ion qubit and demonstrate with greater than 95% confidence that they satisfy a rigorous threshold for FTQEC (diamond norm ≤6.7 × 10-4).