ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems requires the appointment of a management representative. This position may be full-time or part-time depending on the size of your organisation, the complexity and the risks. The management representative is often called the Quality Manager. If you are implementing other management systems to manage other business risks then this person could also be called the Health, Safety, Environment & Quality (HSEQ) Manager, Quality, Safety and Environment (QSE) Manager, Integrated Management System (IMS) Manager, and the list goes on.
But what does the management representative actually do?
5 Management Responsibility
5.5.3 Internal Communication
What does ISO 9001 Say?
Hah, they make it sound easy!
Top management shall ensure that appropriate communication processes are established within the organization and that communication takes place regarding the effectiveness of the quality management system.
Information enables people to do their jobs well. As the purpose of a quality management system is to communicate how you want your organisation to be run it is vital that your communication processes are effective so that the right information is transmitted to the right people at the right time and is understood. Otherwise you won’t get the right results.
It is important that staff are informed about how well the quality management system is working in order to increase their commitment to it, to encourage suggestions to increase its effectiveness, to identify improvements, and to implement the resulting improvement actions.
Let’s break it down
Top management shall ensure that appropriate communication processes are established within the organization.
Senior management needs to put in place a number of ways of communicating with their staff. All things do not need to be communicated to all staff. Some things will be confidential, some just not relevant. Staff should have to opportunity to ask questions so that you know whether the message has been understood.
and that communication takes place regarding the effectiveness of the quality management system.
Two-way communication about the how well the quality management system is working is also needed if your organisation is to achieve its quality objectives. Management needs to communicate to other staff what is working well and what needs be improved. Staff need to communicate to management what isn’t working well and the barriers they face so that they can be investigated, analysed and improvement actions taken.
How is this Demonstrated?
Processes are needed for communicating the following:
- Quality policy (and vision, mission and values if you have them).
- Quality objectives.
- Customer requirements, regulations and statutory requirements.
- Information about existing and new products, services and processes.
- Suggestions for improvement
- Changes that may affect the quality of products and services.
- Results and achievements such as customer feedback, product and service performance measures, audit results, etc.
- The actions to be taken as a result of management review meetings.
These things can be communicated through many channels such as staff briefings, newsletters, the intranet, posters, noticeboards, etc. In larger organisations you may like to develop a communication plan showing what will be communicated, by whom, how, and when. Evidence that these communication activities have occurred will be sufficient. There is no need to write a procedure in order to fulfil this requirement in ISO 9001.