Management Review is one of the best explained and worst applied sections of the management system suite of International Standards (ISO9001:2015, ISO45001:2018, ISO14001:2015).

As simply stated in Clause 9.3 “top management shall review the organisation’s quality/safety/environmental system…to ensure its ongoing suitability, adequacy effectiveness…”  The respective Standards list the items that should be considered (inputs) and the type of actions and decisions that should result (outputs).

Located under Performance Evaluation, Clause 9.3, simply put, requires the leaders of an organisation to take time out at planned intervals, usually annually, and to sit back and consider is our quality/safety/environmental management system effective?  Is it delivering results?

In view of the answers to those questions, ‘top management’ is prompted to then consider how the system can be improved and whether there is a need to increase resources to do so.

Common issues QRMC has found with the Management Review process when we undertake audits include:

  1. “Normal” monthly management meetings are passed off as management review;
  2. Top management are not present; and
  3. The prescribed inputs are not considered.

Addressing issue 1: Standard management meetings do not count as a Management Review, generally because top management are not always present and the list of items in Clause 9.3 is not discussed.  These meetings are generally focussed on ongoing operations and day-to-day problems, rather than the annual “sit back and reflect” session that is the Management Review. Some businesses hold quarterly Management Review Meetings, which are attended by top management.  This is acceptable, providing that over the course of a year, all items detailed in Cl 9.3 have been considered.

Addressing issue 2: A common area of confusion is what constitutes ‘top management’?  In smaller companies this is generally an obvious choice, but becomes harder in larger, decentralised organisations.  A rule of thumb is that it’s a level of management higher than the site / facility manager.  Another mechanism to identify ‘top management’ in an organisation is to consider their duties in respect to the organisational roles, responsibilities and authorities that are listed under Clause 5.3.

Addressing issue 3: The simplest way to ensure that all required inputs are considered at the Management Review meeting is to use the points in Clause 9.3, as agenda items for the meeting.

Please contact QRMC for more information.