Oct 11, 2017

ISO 9001 Management Reviews Made More Practical

Many people are amazed when they are told that ISO9001 does not require Management Review Meetings. There is no mention of a meeting in the standard at all, but it does require that Top Management of an organization review the QMS periodically to make sure that the system still does what it is supposed to do. The terms used by the standard are adequate, suitable and effective.

To do a management review, a list of inputs is used to determine if any changes are required in the Quality Policy and Objectives, or the Quality Management system itself. Management also needs to evaluate any potential opportunities for improvement, not only to the QMS but also for the organization as a whole.

Which Management Review Inputs are required?

The ISO9001 standard mentions seven inputs that are required for management to determine if the QMS is still healthy. If the organization wants to, it could, however, add more inputs to be used for the management review. If you want to evaluate information to determine if the QMS is still acceptable, without having to hold a meeting, a number of smaller reviews can be done instead. Below are some thoughts on how this can be undertaken.

  1. Audits Results

Audit reports are often reviewed by the Quality Manager to make sure previous findings are included in the internal audit planning for the year. If this is already happening, someone in Top Management is already reviewing audit results and checking if and how these are improving the QMS. If audit reports include the review information, they automatically become records of the Management Review.

  1. Feedback from Customers

If a log is kept of the customer feedback that an organization receives and the log contains details of actions taken and who is responsible for them, you are halfway there. Top managers are often very interested in customer satisfaction and if you involve one of them in the review of these logs, you will not only have a record of the review of these issues, but management can also immediately allocate resources to address them if required.

  1. Product Conformity and Process Performance

If your organization uses Key Process Indicators (KPIs) to determine if processes are still acceptable, chances are that at least one of the indicators includes the Non-Conforming Material process. If these KPIs are already being reviewed by a member of top management, and resource decisions are made based on the KPI, especially in order to improve a process, management review is in fact already taking place.

  1. Status of Corrective Actions

If a member of top management participates in the review steps of the Corrective Action process, the Management Review of this input is already in place. Ensure that management’s involvement includes follow up steps to improve the system and allocation of the resources required to address them.

  1. Previous Management Review Follow-up Actions

This requirement is being met if the actions mentioned above are followed up on to make sure that they were in fact implemented. It is, however, important to make sure that the records reflect this follow-up review.

  1. Changes that Could Affect the Quality Management System

The Quality Manager of an organization is often tasked with tracking outside influences that might affect the QMS. These influences could include changes in the standard or changes in legislation. If these changed are recorded and tracked, it’s easy to show that a review has been done. The effect of internal changes is reviewed by looking at internal audits, recommendations for improvement and reviews on internal information.

  1. Recommendations for Improvement

Various recommendations for improvement have already been discussed and addressed in the preceding sections.

Recommendations could also come from an employee suggestion system. These will likely be logged and tracked, and can, therefore, be reviewed easily. If you ensure that Top Management is involved in the review process in all cases, the requirement for Management Review is satisfied.

Which Management Review Outputs are required?

There is no requirement in the standard that minutes of any meeting need to be kept. You do however need to maintain records to demonstrate that reviews by management identified the required outputs for the QMS.

  1. Effectiveness of the System has been Improved

Providing that the involvement of Top Management in the improvements described above has been documented, it shows that the QMS is improving. The key for any record to be valid is, however, to make sure that it is complete.

  1. Product Related to Customer Requirements has been Improved

When the information for Customer Feedback and Product Conformity is reviewed by management, they should take action to improve the product so that it meets customer requirements. If this is done, your product becomes more marketable and customer satisfaction is improved. Perhaps more importantly, the requirement for the Management Review output is satisfied.

  1. Resources Needed have been identified and resolved

One of Top Management’s most important roles is the overall resource planning of an organization. If the reasons behind the choices of resources are documented, this requirement of the standard has been met.

Management Review without a meeting is a good idea

Traditionally, organizations using Management Review Meetings do so once a year, or at best, once per quarter. Whichever way you look at it, this is a long time to respond to, for example, customer complaints or resource requirements.

Rather than having a token meeting just for show, involving top management in all the required areas makes a lot more sense. Doing it this way will also save time and money, something that is always welcome in any organization.

With MyEasyISO, you can assign a responsible person to any of the required Inputs and Outputs discussed in this article. Simply making sure that Top Management is made the responsible person within the system will enable you to meet the Management Review requirements of the standard easily and seamlessly.

ISO 9001 quality management systems QMS software is implemented using MyEasyISO in Paris (France), while ISO 14001 & OHSAS 18001 Health Safety Management Systems HSE software is implemented in New York (America).

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