The purpose of ISO 9001 management review (clause 9.3) is to provide a forum or platform for executive management (leadership) to review and understand the current performance of the management system and organization, and where needed, make changes and improvements.
While many management review procedures define a traditional meeting of organizational executives gathered around a conference room table for a face-to-face discussion, there is no requirement for this type of meeting to satisfy the ISO 9001 requirements, but there is value in these types of meetings, especially when difficult topics are discussed. As long as the required management review inputs are evaluated and assessed by the management team personnel and they have an opportunity to provide feedback to the management team to form the required outputs, this clause is satisfied. You need to figure out what forum and format works for your team and culture, and develop a process to reflect that approach and method.
Also note that management reviews can be executed using technology such as video conference and webinar platforms. As long as participants have access to the information and data presented and discussed, there is no reason that participants can’t engage remotely.
Many organizations already have a set periodic executive planning, strategic planning, or business review meeting established which may be used to satisfy this clause. If using this approach, you may want to carve out a specific portion or time during the meeting to focus on the ISO 9001 management review elements and keep these separate from other company business. Management review ties in well with strategic planning activities which should address ISO 9001 requirements such as context of the organization and risk management.
Management Review Frequency
Define the ideal meeting frequency for your organization. It is recommended that these meetings occur at a minimum of once per year but no more than once per quarter, however, there are no ISO limitations or stipulations on management review frequency. If your organization already has established strategy, planning, or review meetings that meet the spirit and nature of the ISO 9001 management review requirements, those meetings may be used to satisfy the management review requirements as long as all the required inputs and outputs are addressed.
We encourage our clients to execute management reviews more often during the first year after implementing a new ISO 9001 management system to address frequent changes and drive improvements. This is not a requirement and you may address this as you desire. At some point in time after the management system is well established and stable, the management review team can determine the optimal frequency for management reviews going forward.
Management Review Participation
ISO 9001 stipulates that “top management” are the participants for the management review, and it is up to you to define who comprises top management. This should obviously include the chief executive or person who is the highest ranking official for the facility or location to be certified. We recommend that the remainder of top management be comprised of mangers, directors, VPs, etc. representing each major functional area within the organization. Consider the following functions when defining the management review team:
- Supply Chain
- Manufacturing / Production / Planning
- Materials Management
- Marketing / Sales
- Customer Service
This is not a requirement, but the organization should define a stringent participation policy that strongly encourages regular attendance. Options might include one or more of the following:
- A member cannot miss any meetings. If all participants are not present, the meeting must be rescheduled.
- A member cannot miss two consecutive review meetings.
- A member who is not present must provide a qualified and knowledgeable proxy who can adequately represent and speak for the absent participant.
- Any participants who miss a meeting must still review the information shared during the meeting along with the meeting report or minutes, and provide feedback to the team.
Setting the right boundaries, tone, and expectations up front will ensure the meeting maintains its intended level of importance with the management team. Whatever boundaries you establish, stick to your guns and enforce the rules to ensure the team members stay engaged and meetings retain their effectiveness. Any exceptions allowed to the established rules will often become the norm.
Management Review Inputs
ISO 9001 management review (clause 9.3.2) provides a specific list of information and topics which are required as inputs to the review activity. Appropriate personnel who have responsibility for the input topic should provide information or data which accurately represents and communicates performance related to the organization and management system. In some cases, the review team may need to actually complete work during the review meeting to satisfy the input. An example of this would be reviewing and updating changes to external and internal issues and updates to risk assessments. The following inputs should be addressed:
- Review all open action items from previous reviews and where needed, update responsibilities, due dates, resources, etc. A good practice would be to capture action items in some type of action item tracking tool which consolidates actions from all previous reviews and allows management to track progress between management reviews and ensure that tasks are completed in a timely manner.
- Review and update strategic initiatives and documents such as internal / external issues and risk management activities.
- Review and discuss resources needed to support the management system and overall organization. Allocate resources where needed to ensure the management system is effective.
- Determine what improvements to the organization and management system are needed and plan how these improvements will be realized (change management). Where needed incorporate improvement initiatives into quality objectives.
- Review data and information which indicates the performance of the management system and organization. This starts with a review of progress with quality objectives and drills down to performance measures and metrics. Where needed, roll lower level metrics up to the appropriate level for the management review team to discern the performance and effectiveness of the management system. This information should represent all aspects of the management system including:
- Customer satisfaction, feedback, and complaints
- Quality Objectives
- Process performance
- How well products and services meet requirements and specifications (conformance)
- Identified nonconformities and associated corrective actions
- Results from monitoring and measurement activities (including outputs of Analysis and Evaluation). This includes all metrics pertinent to the ISO 9001 management system.
- Results of all audit activities including internal audits, customer audits, and certification audits.
- External provider Consider nonconformities, performance data and results, and results of evaluations (audits, surveys, etc.). Discuss actions to improve supplier relationships and performance.
Feel free to add any additional inputs or topics to be discussed and reviewed during the meeting, especially those related to the performance and efficacy of the management system and organization.
Management Review Outputs
ISO 9001 management review also defines some required outputs from the management review process which includes decisions and actions related to:
- Any defined opportunities for improvement (see inputs above).
- Any changes to the management system which are usually defined as objectives or improvement opportunities. Be sure to execute these changes per your change management process.
- Any resources need for the management system or organization (see inputs above).
The leadership (top management) for any effective and growing organization should be meeting periodically to review company performance and make decisions on how to improve and operate the organization. These reviews should include strategic initiatives and plans, resources, key performance metrics and objectives, customer satisfaction indicators, product and service quality, supply chain performance, etc. The results of these reviews should be documented along with key decisions made and action items assigned. If your organization doesn’t already have such a meeting on a periodic basis, now would be a great time to implement one based on the ISO 9001 management review requirements.