ISO certification requires that Top Management is required to emphasize the importance of conforming to the ISO 9001 requirements. Additionally, leadership must also ensure that the QMS is achieving its intended results, and that continual improvement is driven within the organization.
|ISO 9001:2015||ISO 9001:2008||Summary of Changes|
Top Management is now required to demonstrate leadership and commitment in regard to the QMS. They should ensure that the quality policy and objectives are compatible with the business’s strategic direction, that the policy is understood and followed, and that the QMS is integrated into the organization’s business processes.
|5.1||Leadership And Commitment||
|5.1.1||Leadership And Commitment For The Quality Management System||5.1||Management Commitment|
|5.1.2||Customer Focus||5.2||Customer Focus|
|5.2||Quality Policy||5.3||Quality Policy||Includes an additional requirement to make the policy available to interested parties and being available as documented information.|
|5.2.1||Establishing the Quality Policy||5.3||Quality Policy|
|5.2.2||Communicating the Quality Policy||5.5.3||Internal Communication|
|5.3||organizational Roles, Responsibilities And Authorities||5.5.1||Responsibility And Authority||
Amended, no longer requires the specific position of a Quality Management Representative.
organizations ensure should that Top Management has taken on or delegated the responsibility for management of the quality management system, and that they have established a means to monitor if processes are delivering their intended outputs.
You should seek and record evidence that Top Management is taking a ‘hands-on’ approach to the management of the QMS. Be prepared to constructively challenge Top Management’s commitment to quality management principles and show their commitment in ISO.
Auditing this tier of management is likely to be a new experience for many people, so it is important that you have a good understanding of management activities in order to effectively engage with them.
If it is evident that the Top Management is not involved with the quality system and ISO standards, a major non-conformance is likely.
During certification audits, Auditors should look for evidence that Top Management has a ‘hands-on’ approach to the management of their QMS during interviews and auditing other requirements e.g. Context of the organization, policies and objectives, Management review minutes, Resources etc.
Evidence of Top Management involvement may be found in:
Management involvement must now be demonstrated and cannot be simply confined to annual management reviews. During internal audits Auditors should ensure that they are well prepared to interview the Top Management in respect of their commitment to the QMS. A good understanding of management-related processes and language used by Top Management can be helpful to engage with management on a range of issues.
Without rock-solid management commitment, you will not have a successful quality management system. Communicating the importance of Leadership commitment and active involvement to quality is essential.
This is not a commitment in words; it is the continuous and active demonstration to everyone in the organization that the need to meet customers' expectations is vital. Top Management commitment towards the QMS to demonstrate that they have a presence in the organization, are providing direction, are leading by example, are making informed decisions, and:
Customer focus involves determining customer requirements and ensuring that processes exist to meet the requirements and achieve customer satisfaction.
Enhance customer satisfaction by ensuring that customer requirements are identified. The principal message that Top Management must convey is that the objective of the business is to satisfy your customers by ensuring a process exists to achieve the following:
You should determine how customer satisfaction is evaluated and whether appropriate actions are taken, based on available performance information (e.g., nonconformity data, corrective action requests, results of satisfaction surveys, complaints regarding product quality, OTD, service provision, responsiveness to customer and internal requests) provided by your customers (e.g., scorecards, report cards).
Top Management commitment towards customer focus can be demonstrated by ensuring that:
When auditing customer focus, the audit team should assess whether customer satisfaction is adequately determined and appropriate corrective action undertaken when things go wrong.
The customer feedback process should be audited as a process in its own right and not just as a clause in the standard. Determine how this process is planned, implemented and improved as these factors will affect the processes’ ability to provide meaningful information about the effectiveness of the QMS.
Updated: 26th February 2022
Author: Richard Keen
Richard is our Compliance Director, responsible for content & product development.
But most importantly he is ISO's biggest fanboy and a true evangelist of the standards.
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