ISO 9001:2015 Management Review – Small Changes to an Important Process

by David Moskal

ISO Management ReviewThe process for Management Review is integral in the planning and evaluation of any ISO 9001 quality management system. The review allows organizations to take a step back from everyday life and examine the health of the system. There have been some changes made to the Management Review requirements in the current DIS version of ISO 9001:2015 that has been released for review. These proposed changes not only align the review process with the rest of the proposed changes in the standard, but also underline the importance of the review process itself.

Expanded Management Review Requirements

The requirement for the organization to review the quality management system at planned intervals to ensure that it continues to be suitable, adequate and effective for the organization has not changed; however a few of the elements that are to be taken into consideration have. The 2008 version requires that changes that could affect the quality management system are reviewed. While it gives the direction that changes need to be addressed, the 2015 draft redefines this and states that both internal and external issues are to be taken into consideration. This explicitly expands the issues that management will review that could have an influence on the quality management system from those that have typically in the past been identified as internal issues to those that are out of the control of the organization. Some of the external influences that could have an effect on the quality management system may include technology, suppliers, customers, or changes in statutory or regulatory requirements including those of local, state, national or international agencies. Based on the issues that are determined to be relevant, the strategic direction of the system will also need to be determined and reviewed by management. This will be an important change to the process. Management will need to not only review the current suitability, adequacy and effectiveness of the system, but also ensure that they understand what the strategy for the system is going forward so that it remains suitable, adequate and effective in the future. This will require management to plan and be as proactive as they can rather than just being reactive to the issues as they arise.

Required Review of Customer Satisfaction and Supplier Information

The previous requirement for customer feedback to be reviewed during management review has changed to the information of the quality performance, including trends and indicators, of customer satisfaction. While the 2008 version has the requirement to determine, collect and analyze data in order to determine customer satisfaction, it was not required to be discussed during Management Review. The 2015 draft is proposing that this information is specifically reviewed during the Management Review process. The significance of the change is that the determination of customer satisfaction is not made by an individual based on only the analysis of data, but instead made in an environment where it can be discussed by management to ensure that appropriate decisions are made and actions taken on both the data as well any anecdotal information that is available. This should also ensure that decisions are made on the complete customer base and not just individual customers. Then strategic direction can be given by management to ensure that customer satisfaction is not only acceptable but also improved upon. Similarly, the requirement to just analyze data for suppliers has changed. The requirement is to have the quality performance, including trends and indicators, reviewed during the Management Review process for external providers and other relevant interested parties. Again, this ensures that not only is the data analyzed, but that it is discussed, appropriate conclusions are made, and actions are taken based on the information that has been gathered. This will ensure that the organization considers not only external providers while reviewing the quality management system for its suitability, adequacy and effectiveness, but other companies, agencies or individuals that are relevant and interested.

As you can see by some of the changes that are proposed additional influences will need to be considered, reviewed and discussed for the Management Review process. This will ensure that the quality management system is reviewed for suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness taking into consideration external and internal issues, customer satisfaction, and external providers and other relevant interested parties while having a strategic direction. Management will need to make decisions and take actions based on this information to ensure that the quality management system continues to be suitable, adequate, and effective.

Cavendish Scott has been helping organization meet and beat ISO 9001 since 1985. We are monitoring the current changes to the standard and will be providing training, support, consulting and auditing to the new standard as it becomes closer to publication.