Management Responsibility in an ISO9001:2000 Quality Management System

It’s clear that without solid management commitment, you will not have a successful ISO9001:2000 quality management system.

Some of the items that are required under section 5 of the ISO9001:2000 standard include:

Your top management must be able to provide evidence of its commitment to your quality system, and its continual improvement.

Top management must communicate to the organization that it is of the utmost importance that the company meet customer requirements, as well as any applicable government regulatory requirements.

Top management must establish a quality policy. This is usually a few sentences at the beginning of your quality manual. Think of it as a high level direction. If you were commanding an ocean liner, the equivalent would be to say “we’re going to New York”. The rest of your quality manual and procedures will give everyone detailed instructions on how you’re going to get there.

Top management must see that quality objectives are created, and that quality measurements are taken and recorded and compared against those objectives. One of the driving goals of ISO9001:2000 is “continual improvement”. You must be able to demonstrate continual improvement. This is done by establishing quality objectives (or goals) that are just slightly above where you are at now. A year from now, after a year’s worth of measurements, you should have evidence of improvement. If you don’t, you’re doing something wrong. Having your quality measurements (records) compared against where you were, and where you want to be, is a really good place to start figuring out how to improve your system.

Top management must conduct periodic management reviews. That is, management must review the quality system and make changes if necessary. And, of course, you have to be able to show evidence of your management reviews, so records are necessary.

Top management is also charged with the responsibility of ensuring that adequate resources are available to people within your organization. This means all resources, from adequate personnel (both quality and quantity of those personnel) an adequate environment to accomplish the work, the necessary tools, computers, paper clips…..everything needed to run the company, accomplish your goals, and continually improve.

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