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ISO9001 and the Management Review

The management review is possibly one of the most useful parts of the entire standard yet it's also one of the most underused! ISO9001:2015 Clause 9.3 is all about the requirements for that management review and the very 1st part 9.3.1 gives us a bit of a general overview of the point of the clause.  

General Expectations of the Management Review

Firstly, we want to explode the myth that ISO9001 mandates you have a management review meeting, it doesn't there is zero mention of the word meeting in the clause, how you carry out the review is entirely up to you as an organisation. You could do it all virtually via say Microsoft Teams or Slack, you could just run a bunch of reports and have everyone sign off on them... you could, but you shouldn't. This is one time where I absolutely think you should have a meeting, a well-run meeting where you can passionately (and loudly at times) discuss how well your Quality Management System is service your organisation and meeting your strategic objectives.

The other important element about this section is the frequency of the reviews. Again there is no hard and fast rule but it does give a couple of hints, firstly it says they should be at planned intervals, those intervals are up to you, they can be anything that makes sense but what they should be is consistently 2 days prior to an audit if you get the hint! Typically Monthly is a good rule of thumb, at the very most no later than Quarterly, again there is no expectation on the duration of the review so if your review takes 5 minutes then OK… it won't be useful but OK, the reality is you probably need to spend at least a couple of hours per month reviewing your system, that doesn't seem like too much to ask does it?? At a top level the review should ensure that the Quality Management System that operates within your organisation continues to be suitable for how you operate, is adequate for what you need (there is zero benefits to hundreds of bells and whistles if you don't use them or the add zero value) it is effective for your organisation, so helping your continuous improvement efforts and of course aligned to your organisations strategy.

Management Review Inputs

Clause 9.3.2 of the ISO9001:2015 standard gives you a list of things that should be taken into consideration in terms of inputs to your review, it is not exhaustive, but you should as a minimum cover these things:

  1. Status of previous actions – like any review there will be actions that come out of it, it's important to ensure that these get followed through so this is your chance – although we know you will have this all in control prior to the review
  2. Any changes internal or external that would have an impact on your QMS, for example, if you have restructured or have changed your focus to an entirely new industry, perhaps your main supplier has changed these have an impact on your QMS.
  3. You should review information on the performance & effectiveness of your QMS looking at the trends of key indicators
    • Customer satisfaction
    • Progress on quality objectives
    • Internal quality
    • Any non-conformances or corrective actions or complaints
    • Issues around monitoring and measurement results
    • Audit results
    • How your external providers are performing and any actions required there.
  4. How adequate are your resources (people, equipment, facilities, supply chain and so forth)
  5. How effective have any actions been that were taken as a result of risks or opportunities that have been previously identified (see our discussion on clause 6.1 here to learn more)
  6. What are the opportunities within the organisation for improvement?

Now all of those things are really important discussion to have so back to the point about the session being planned, this is something you should put effort into, plan the session and give everyone enough time to review the information and come prepared for the discussion. Tacking this review onto the end of a previous meeting with a few minutes notice doesn't really do it justice nor help your organisation!

Management Review Outputs

So lets be honest what's the point of having a review (or a meeting) with no outputs, none, yet a great many organisations do! Clause 9.3.3 of the ISO9001:2015 standard gives you a few outputs that are expected of your management review to help you along here then, they are looking for you to record what decisions or actions have come out of the discussions within the review about:

  1. Opportunities for improvement
  2. Was any need for changes to the QMS identified?
  3. Are there any issues or requirements around resources?

The reality is a great more will come out of your review sessions when done well that will aid to the continuous improvement aspects of your organisation and you should certainly not be limited to the list provided by ISO9001, as always these are the minimum you should do so consider what else makes sense for your organisation.

As you would expect you do need to retain documented information to provide evidence that the management review has been done and the results of it. This could just be a set of signed minutes, it should include copies of any data that you presented such as charts or tables etc to allow these to be referenced again later. All of that can obviously add up to a stack of paper if you aren't careful and that's where systems like Mango can really become an even great advantage by allowing you to not only schedule these meetings within the system but also manage the records and information needed in one integrated place it becomes very easy to comply with these requirements.


ISO9001:2015 Clause 9.3 Management Review is all about ensuring that your Quality Management System is providing your organisation with the benefits it needs, ensuring that it's aligned to your strategy and giving you an opportunity to understand and review the data that the QMS is driving for you such as customer satisfaction, non-conformance, quality improvements, resource requirements and much much more. You don't have to hold formal meetings but they really do help, you do have to review on a planned basis, annually is really no help, quarterly is some help and month is lots of help. You do have to keep records of what was reviewed and the outcomes and actions from the session. Done right the management review should act as a tune-up on your entire organisation and help you keep purring along like a well-tuned machine.

Get In Touch

If you need any support in developing or improving your ISO or Quality Systems we'd love to hear from you, just click here to make an appointment and find out how we can help you Make Things, Better

You can also call John on 0211649739 to set up a meeting 

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Monday, 20 May 2019

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