Why Is a Management Representative No Longer Required in ISO 9001:2015?

by Matt Leiphart

Q: I heard the new standard no longer requires a management representative. Why did ISO do that, and who is going to keep our management system operating correctly?

iso-consultingA: A close reading of the standard reveals that while there is no longer a specified requirement for a management representative, the duties of the management representative are still required, so obviously somebody has to mind the management system. A key component of the revisions brought by Annex SL is a desire on the part of the standards writers to get top management personally involved in establishing and implementing the management system, and one aspect of these components is removing the middle man (person) formerly called, “Management Representative.” The new standards place a lot more emphasis, and more requirements, directly in the realm of top management. Accreditation requirements for training classes are focusing on developing auditing skills to address top management during audits. These revisions are being made to get top management deeply engaged in the management system, while revising the standards to make them better tools for top management. By proactively planning management systems in terms of external and internal issues, interested parties, strategic direction, and risk, then removing the management representative, it is hoped top management will not only become more involved because there no longer is someone else running the show, they will also see the management system as a means to achieve the ends they focus on day in and day out.