All management systems require a periodic review by the organization’s top management. The purpose of such a review is to evaluate if the management system is performing as intended and if it’s producing the desired results as efficiently as possible. While in review, there are steps that can be taken to make sure your organization’s management review process goes smoothly.
The management review inputs for standards may vary however, there are some key characteristics that all management reviews should have to ensure its success.
Top Management Involvement
For this process to have the expected outputs, top management needs to attend; they are the ones that decide where the resources – people, time and money, will be placed to improve the management system.
All the required inputs are presented in a simple and clear manner. Every standard is specific about the review’s inputs. This information can sometimes be extensive, therefore, it’s fundamental that it’s presented in an easy to follow way and that it gives an overview of the systems current status, its weaknesses and possible areas for improvement. Here are some examples of the information that needs to be highlighted:
- Internal and external audit results:
- number of audit findings
- current status
- audit findings increasing or decreasing compared with the year before?
- Corrective and preventive actions:
- Legal compliance:
- is the organization complying with all applicable requirements?
- Process performance:
- are targets/objectives being reached and maintained?
- Communications and complaints:
- has positive or negative feedback been received from interested parties?
- Upcoming changes:
- are there any changes that can affect the effectiveness of the system -i.e., staff changes, new projects or standards, efficiency improvements, etc.?
- what actions/decisions need to be taken?
It is essential to record, as a minimum;
- the date of the review,
- participants in the review,
- decisions taken,
- deficiencies found in the system, and
- recommendations for improvement or corrective actions.
The actions and recommendations to be taken should stipulate deadlines, resources needed and the individuals responsible for the actions.
The results of this review should be monitored over time, and if problems persist, more frequent reviews should be scheduled.
Frequent Management System Reviews
Management System reviews are required at least once a year. It is recommended that during the first 2 years of the management system, this review is held more frequently (twice a year), and after the system has “matured” it can be performed once a year. However, if it’s considered necessary, a specific topic – i.e., audit findings, corrective actions, process performance, etc. – can be reviewed on a more frequent basis.
Broadly speaking, a successful management review process provides top management; and everyone responsible for the effectiveness of the management system; a diagnosis of the system’s current situation so deficiencies can be identified, changes and/or actions can be established to correct these deficiencies and recommendations for improvement can be made.
To the novice quality manager, ISO jargon can be extremely overwhelming. What is an NCR? What do you mean by OFI? Are we certified or accredited? But before you go and pull out your hair, let’s take a moment to go over some of the most frequently used terms and their definitions with regards to ISO and Management System Certification.