ISO 9001 Management Commitment
ISO 9001 requires management commitment, what does that mean?
What should top management at your organization be doing? Management must participate in the implementation project. Management will play a critical role in the leadership of the implementation project.
To involve management, determine how you will structure leadership for the project. One way of leading the project is to set up a leadership team. This team should be made up of the management representative, managers from each area of the company and top management. This team meets on a regular basis throughout the project, including during project planning. Project planning involves ensuring resources are available for the project, one of top management’s responsibilities required by the standard.
This team can be assigned the responsibilities for meeting the requirements in section 5 of the standard. The team can also assign responsibilities for the implementation or transition project, watch the project timeline, resolve problems during the project and review and approve new procedures. Keep minutes of these meetings that show attendees and assignments. This can be used to show management involvement and commitment to the development and implementation of the quality management system.
If you are not using a team approach top management will need to determine how they will be involved and be able to provide evidence of its commitment to development and implementation of the quality management system. Top management will still need to be responsible for the tasks listed above.
Communicating these responsibilities to management
The responsibility to design and implement a Quality Management System has often been given to the management representative or a quality manager that are not “Top Management”. The system is implemented, and Top Management is trained on the questions that the auditor will ask of them. This is not enough to satisfy the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard.
How can the management representative, quality manager or other person assigned responsibility for the ISO 9001 system communicate to management the importance of their involvement, especially if they are not accustomed to being involved at this level?
Educate management on their responsibilities. They must understand the specifics of what they are being asked to do to establish and support the quality system. Print out our table of Top Management Responsibilities to review with your top management. This will help you start a discussion on their role in the project.