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Unearthing Success with ISO 9001 Management Review Meeting

iso 9001 management review meeting

Management review meetings are at the heart of good internal quality management. This article aims to describe the ISO 9001 Management Review Meeting to improve your understanding and implementation of this process. But one must first understand what ISO 9001:2015 is all about.

What is ISO 9001?

ISO 9001 is a set of international standards designed to help companies meet customer requirements and ensure that their products or services are fit for purpose. Every organization that wants to comply with ISO 9001 must have an effective internal quality management system (QMS). The QMS must be continually improved and maintained to deliver effective quality management.

The QMS is made up of processes and tools which help you achieve your objectives. By using these processes and tools consistently, you can manage all aspects of your business to meet customer expectations, reduce waste, and increase efficiency.

The management review meeting is one such process that helps you monitor how well your QMS works over time by reviewing performance data against objectives set in the strategic plan. It also allows senior managers within your organization to look at where improvements can be made and what resources may be needed to achieve them.

Breakdown of Clause 9 of the ISO 9001 Standard

The ISO 9001 management review meeting is an integral part of the performance evaluation structure outlined in Clause 9 of the ISO 9001 standard. Clause 9 has three sections:

  • 9.1 – Monitoring, Measurement, Analysis and Evaluation
  • 9.2 – Internal Audits
  • 9.3 – Management Review

The management review meeting forms part of Clause 9.3 – Management Review. Clause 9.3 focuses on the need for top management to regularly hold a meeting to discuss important matters related to the business. This section is divided into further subsections that are designed to ensure that the requirements of the management review are met:

  • Clause 9.3.2 talks about the agenda that is required for the meeting.
  • Clause 9.3.3 talks about how the meeting minutes should be documented.

Why should an organization go through the ISO 9001 Management Review Meeting?

Performing the management review meeting because it is mandatory to maintain your ISO certification should never be the case.

When an organization operates through an ISO certified management system, the management review meeting should be considered a top priority. It allows the organization to assess the effectiveness of the current processes and their needs to reform and ensure that the management systems are compatible with the company’s policies and goals.

The purpose of a management review meeting is to:

  • Analyze organizational performance against established goals
  • Assess the effectiveness of quality management systems and identify areas needing improvement
  • Ensure continuous improvement through established corrective action plans
  • Identify opportunities for improvement through new business development initiatives
  • Identify areas requiring special attention because they may affect future compliance with ISO 9001:2015 requirements
  • Discuss challenges faced by individual departments or groups within the organization (e.g., production delays caused by equipment failure)

How often must one perform an ISO 9001 Management Review Meeting?

An organization should aim to perform a management review at least once every year. However, it is advised that reviews are conducted more regularly for more prominent organizations. Regular management reviews are one of the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard, and should these not be done routinely, organizations may fail future audits.

The organization is responsible for deciding how frequently to conduct management reviews. The frequency of checks must be specified in the management system processes or a corresponding written method, according to ISO requirements, to obtain ISO certification.

Who should attend the ISO 9001 Management Review Meeting?

The meeting should be conducted by senior management but can be supported by other staff members interested in quality management.

The meeting is usually attended by everyone who has had direct involvement in quality management during the last year (e.g., managers who have been involved in training, auditing, etc.). Often it will be helpful to include customers, suppliers, and other external stakeholders, as well as internal personnel who have played a role in your organization’s quality assurance efforts.

The meeting should take place during working hours so that participants can give their full attention to its content without worrying about missing anything important or having difficulty finding another time when they would all be available together.

How to Implement the Requirement stated in Clause 9 of ISO 9001:2015

The ISO 9001 management review meeting is an opportunity to put the concept of continual improvement into practice. At least once a year, top management meets to review the business’s strategy. The goal is to find ways in which the company can improve. Ideas for improvement come from the meeting’s agenda and the topics to be discussed.

Using data collected from the previous period, the company can use a fact-based approach to facilitate continual improvement. It should be noted at this point that there is a difference between data and information. It is helpful to apply the DIKW method:

  • Data (raw numbers)
  • Information (processed data)
  • Knowledge (experience combined with information)
  • Wisdom (correct application of knowledge)

More on DIKW can be found here.

Each management review meeting requires completing all the items on the agenda as set by the standard and coming up with an action plan to implement improvements. It is imperative that meeting minutes (official meeting minutes, emails, or any other shape or format) are readily available and can be referred to during essential discussions.

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Topics To Discuss During ISO 9001 Management Review Meeting

Important topics that top management must cover during the management review are as follows:

Status Of Actions from Previous Management Reviews

For the first management review, no action is required. For subsequent management reviews, the actions defined in the previous management review should be the first discussion topics on the agenda. Continual improvement is the objective, and top management should follow through on its promises, year over year, to achieve the company’s quality objectives.

Changes In External and Internal Issues Relevant To QMS

During implementation, the company has to define internal and external issues. Due to the negative connotation of the word ‘issues’, it’s more productive to refer to internal and external issues as internal and external factors because they can be positive or negative.

A SWOT analysis helps evaluate the internal and external factors that could positively or negatively affect a company. A SWOT analysis is done in Clause 4 to create a solid foundation for your company’s QMS. During the yearly management review, the SWOT analysis should be updated with any changes in the company’s internal or external environment.

Information On Performance and Effectiveness of the QMS

Information on the performance and effectiveness of the QMS includes, for example, trends in customer satisfaction and feedback from relevant interested parties. Quality and customer satisfaction have a direct relationship. Therefore, it is crucial to get feedback from customers to ensure that we get tangible ideas for improvement. Feedback can come in the form of surveys or 1-2-1 meetings (depending on the company size). Once the data is collected, it must be compiled and turned into information.

Extent To Which Quality Objectives Have Been Met

Quality objectives refer to the goals of the organization. Not all goals relate to quality; financial, HR, sales, and operational purposes are valid. Remember, the aim is to strive for continual improvement across the board. However, given that ISO 9001 is about quality, goals for quality should be included. Quality goals can be related to customer feedback, for example, or to other metrics that ensure customer satisfaction, such as customer retention.

In the ISO 9001 management review meeting, management must review the extent to which all objectives have been met.

Information (DIKW Method) is turned into knowledge with the experience of the top management who have the foresight and expertise to make informed decisions with the help of numbers and facts.

Nonconformities And Corrective Actions

Nonconformity is when something doesn’t go as planned. Corrective actions are the actions taken to fix whatever went wrong. During the year, the company must keep track of nonconformities. During the management review, top management must evaluate these occurrences.

Whether there are hundreds of nonconformities (due to the size of the organization), or just a few, fact-based decisions must be taken when considering corrective actions. For example, statistical process control might be used in a situation where there is a large number of nonconformities. A short discussion on each topic would probably suffice for a smaller company with just a handful of issues.

This part of the management review aims to learn from our mistakes and to take action for improvement.

Audit Results

During internal audits, we follow a customer order from start to finish to ensure that everything has worked according to plan. Whenever we find a deviation, we have a decision to make; update the process or change it to ensure the mistake doesn’t happen again. Naturally, this depends on the severity of the error.

Audits can be internal or external. Internal audits are done internally by someone within the organization or by a consultant such as Luke Desira. A certification body does external audits.

During the management review, top management must review the findings within the audit and take appropriate action. Audit findings can lead to the identification of risks, opportunities for improvement, or the recording of good practices.

If the audit criteria are selected from statutory requirements or regulatory requirements, the audit finding is termed compliant or non-compliant.

Findings in audits are classified as follows:

  • OFI – Idea for Improvement: Corrective action does not have to be implemented – the decision on whether to implement these actions or not lies within the company
  • Minor Nonconformity: A slight deviation from the standard – Clause 10.2 of the ISO 9001 standard covers the corrective actions required to iron out minor nonconformities.
  • Major Nonconformity: A clear breach of a requirement within the standard has been found, and corrective action must be implemented to achieve/maintain ISO 9001 certification. The corrective action must be implemented within a specific time frame, usually 30 days. -add time limit – usually around 30 days

Performance of External Providers

Customer feedback is a valuable asset for continual improvement, but it’s not the only weapon in your arsenal. The ISO 9001 management review meeting is also an opportunity to evaluate your suppliers (external providers). There is no need to share the information gleaned from your evaluation with your suppliers. The point of the assessment is to ensure that your suppliers are living up to expectations.

In this case, the term ‘suppliers’ only refers to essential suppliers. In other words, suppliers whose products or services we resell either directly or indirectly, such as raw materials for the manufacturing industry or outsourced services for the professional services industry.

A supplier evaluation is usually done on a yearly basis, and the criteria used to rate suppliers can be defined according to your specifications. However, remember that criteria are usually based on quality, time, money, and elements such as communication and respect.

During the management review, top management must discuss the performance of external providers throughout the past year and make informed decisions about how to proceed moving forward.

Adequacy of Resources

During this section of the management review, the management must confirm that they have adequate resources. These resources must enable the company to achieve its goals, which include improving customer satisfaction, reaching quality objectives, and pleasing all interested parties.

In general, for ISO 9001 management review meeting, these resources are considered crucial:

  • People: any new training needed
  • Equipment: any equipment that needs upgrading
  • Monitoring and measuring equipment: any equipment that is used to measure data, like thermometers and weighing scales, that need to be updated or upgraded
  • IT: an outlook on the IT system and whether it needs updates or upgrades

Effectiveness of Actions Taken to Address Risks and Opportunities

As previously mentioned, Clause 4 of the ISO 9001 standard asks you to identify internal and external factors that could impact your business. These factors can be both negative (risks) and positive (opportunities). Once the risks and opportunities have been identified, they must be addressed. Clause 6 of the ISO 9001 standard asks you to prioritize the risks and opportunities and then create a plan to manage them.

To prioritize risks and opportunities, you must assign a risk priority number using FMEA (failure mode and effects analysis). This is done by multiplying weighted values for the following:

  • Severity – How severe would be if the risk/opportunity were to happen
  • Occurrence – How likely is the risk/opportunity to occur
  • Detection – How likely are you to notice that the risk/opportunity has happened

Once you’ve established the values of risks and opportunities from highest to lowest, actions can be taken to mitigate losses and seize opportunities.

During the ISO 9001 management review meeting, you should evaluate how well your strategies have worked since the last management review. And you must prioritize the new risks and opportunities presented during the earlier discussion on internal and external factors. Once you’ve prioritized the new risks/opportunities, you’ll need to create a new action plan to address these factors.

Opportunities for Improvement

During the various topics mentioned above, ideas for improvement are bound to have been discovered. This section highlights the importance of keeping detailed minutes of every management review meeting. Well-written minutes should provide a layout of all the areas identified for improvement and structured and detailed accounts of any plans made to achieve the improvements.

At this stage of the review meeting, you must use the minutes to list all the actions you intend to take based on the discussions in the previous sections. You must define who will be responsible for what and allocate the necessary resources.

Conclusion

The ISO 9001 management review meeting is an essential tool when it comes to maintaining the integrity of your QMS. The ISO 9001 standard provides clear guidelines regarding how to structure the meeting and the topics that should be discussed. By following it closely, you will get a clear picture of how well your business is faring year after year. The ISO 9001 management review meeting will help you identify and fix any issues and help you identify and capitalize on any opportunities. The takeaway is that the time and energy you invest in every meeting will reap long-term rewards.

Interested in Learning More?

Luke Desira is an ISO management system consultant who understands that taking the first step to achieve ISO certification is never easy – learn how to achieve ISO 9001 certification here! To further learn about ISO 9001 management review meeting and the requirements of ISO 9001 as a Quality Management System, click here!

Anything can go wrong when implementing ISO Standards, make sure that you are aware of such mishaps before they occur! All management systems based on ISO Standards that are implemented should pertain directly to the organization’s objectives, and ISO 9001 – Quality Management System  should be no different. Have a look at the ISO Certification specialised by Industry to understand in which category your organization falls.

Luke offers a variety of ISO certification services that puts him as the number 1 ISO Certification consultant in Malta. He can help you achieve ISO certification efficiently. When ready, take the first step to success and call Luke Desira.

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