Starting with ISO 2008 and related standards such as AS9100 and ISO-TS-29001, the management review can no longer simply be a report prepared by someone and looked over by the top manager.
The management review has to be conducted by top management and any actions that arise from the review have to be annotated and then there has to be objective evidence that the actions were followed up. Auditors will therefore want to see the records from at least the last two reviews in order to verify the follow-up for any actions assigned.
Frequently, these actions are not well highlighted and are difficult at best to find in the meeting records. Also, the period for conducting the management review is often set as annual.
This is technically okay since the above standards only require the review to be done “at planned intervals” (except ISO-TS-29001 does require a yearly interval as a minimum) and therefore it is up to the organization to establish what those intervals are.
Management Review Process
At Choice Consulting we believe that any top manager who is content to review the quality management system (QMS) only once a year is not really using the QMS as part of the tools for managing the company. Unless there are other management review meetings where the actions from the management review are followed up, good management practice would not let a year go by until that is done. And if there are some other meetings where actions are followed up, then are these not at least in part management review meetings?
The referenced standards also list specific agenda items that must be addressed in the management review. Some of these lend themselves to a more frequent review than others and therefore not every agenda item may need to be addressed at every review, particularly if the reviews are done on a monthly or even a quarterly schedule.
In working with clients to set up their QMS, Choice Consulting will ensure that a reasonable interval for the management review is adopted and that the format for the meeting minutes (which are required records) insures the coverage of the agenda items as practical.
For example, the Quality Policy should rarely need to change unless the nature of the business changes and therefore it may not be necessary to review the policy at every management review.
With the 2000 version of ISO 9001 a whole section (section 5) is dedicated to defining a number of requirements that have to be implemented by “top management”.
The management review is still there, but it is also required that management provide certain evidence of its commitment to the development and implementation of the QMS and to continually improving the effectiveness of the QMS.
To facilitate management review there are five specific ways that top management must provide such evidence of their commitment, these are:
- By communicating to all employees the importance of meeting customer, statutory and regulatory requirements.
- By establishing the quality policy.
- By ensuring that quality objectives are established.
- By conducting the periodic management reviews.
- By ensuring the availability of resources.
Additionally, there are requirements that:
- Management must insure that customer requirements are determined and met.
- Management must insure that the planning of the QMS is carried out in order to meet the requirements of the standard.
- Management must insure that the integrity of the QMS is maintained when changes are made to the system.
- Management must insure that the responsibilities and authorities are defined and communicated within the organization.
- Management must appoint a member of management to be the “Management Representative” and there is a list of duties and authorities for the representative.
- Management must insure that there is an internal communication process in place and that employees are informed as to the effectiveness of the QMS.
Management Review Overview
As you see, the role of top management in the management review QMS has been significantly expanded and without a thorough understanding of that role by management, it is difficult at best for an organization successfully implement and get certified to a QMS based on ISO 9001, or related standards.
When working with clients to prepare for certification of their QMS, Choice Consulting will ensure that top management thoroughly understands their responsibilities in effectively implementing the management review system.