5 Tips to get the most out of a Management Review

A Management Review is a formal, structured meeting which involves top management and takes place at regular intervals throughout the year. They are a critical and required part of running an ISO certified Management System.

The purpose of a Management Review meeting is to review and evaluate the effectiveness of your Management System, helping you to determine its continued suitability and adequacy. The Management Review does this by encouraging top management to consider the degree by which the Management System:

  • Achieves the expected results
  • Meets the organisation’s requirements
  • Functions in accordance with the established operating procedures and processes
  • Is capable of identifying non-conformities and monitoring subsequent corrective and preventive actions

A Management Review also ensures that all levels of management are made aware of any changes, updates, revisions, etc. to the day-to-day workings of the Management System itself.

As Management Reviews are so important to getting the most out of a Management System, the member of senior management that has overall responsibility for the Management System is also accountable for convening, attending and reporting on Management Reviews.

Note that there is a difference between Management Meetings and Management Reviews. The former may address the day-to-day working practices, sales, production, resources and staffing matters, but the Management Review focuses solely on the requirements of the Management System, as described within your Manual or documented information.

Below you will find 5 tips to help you get the most out of these important meetings.


Before the Review

1. When, What and Who

A Management Review, as with any successful meeting, should be prepared for in advance. You will need to decide when it will take place, what will be discussed and who should attend. ISO Standards require you to document when the meetings should occur and what will be, and has been, discussed, but it is also a good idea to document a list of attendees too.

When – Set a Schedule

It is recommended that a meeting should take place at least once a year, but meetings can be held quarterly or even monthly if preferred.

If your organisation operates more than one Management System, or has a Management System that is certified to more than one ISO Standard, joint Management Reviews may be conducted to save time and avoid unnecessary duplication. Make sure that you cover the unique aspects of each Standard, as well as the shared features.

For businesses holding multiple meetings in a year, it is possible to dedicate each meeting to the review of a specific section or area of your Management System. If you decide to run multiple reviews in this way, make sure that together the reviews cover all of the topics required by the ISO Standard you are certified to. You can do this more easily by writing a detailed agenda for each meeting.

What – Write an Agenda

An important part of your planning should be to produce an agenda for your meeting – this is also a requirement for ISO Certification, so it is good practice to do so. A detailed and agreed agenda will help you to ensure all topics required by your chosen ISO Standard are covered – especially if you decide to hold multiple reviews throughout the year focused on different topics.

A Management Review should cover the following topics:

  • Discussion on the status of any issues from the previous meeting
  • Changes to external and internal issues that affect the Management System
  • Examination of the performance of the Management System
  • Review of available resources and their adequacy
  • Examination of how effective the actions taken towards identified risks and opportunities were
  • Identification of further opportunities for improvement

Who – Document the Attendees

Once you have an agenda, you can make sure that you have the right people in attendance to discuss those issues.

The meeting should be chaired by person with overall responsibility for the Management System and it is their responsibility to designate those members of senior management who must attend and actively take part in Management Review.

In general, the people who should attend a Management Review are the senior management team, but others may need to be included to discuss particular issues where more detail is required.

During the Review

2. Take Minutes

Documenting the content and results of your Management Review meetings is a requirement of ISO Certification, so someone will need to take minutes throughout the meeting.

When taking minutes use the meeting agenda to help, writing notes next to each related topic. This will help with the write-up later as brief notes have more context when written under a specific topics.

For any agreed actions or changes that should be carried out, you should detail who is responsible for the task and the assigned deadline. By recording this information, these items can be more easily followed-up in subsequent Management Reviews.

Make sure to also record the date and time of the meeting and who was in attendance.

It is important to write the minutes up, preferably as soon after the meeting as possible to ensure the contents are fresh in your mind. This is because the minutes are required as documented information under the ISO Standard and must be made available to third party auditors.

3. Examine the Evidence

An important aspect of ISO Certification is the use of fact-based decision making which is the use of figures and evidence to evaluate the outcome of a proposed decision before implementing it. As a Management Review meeting involves making decisions about changes to and the direction of company policies and the Management System, examining appropriate evidence is vital to this process.

The evidence that should be brought to a Management Review includes:

  • Minutes of previous Management Review meeting
  • Management System documentation
  • Internal and External Audit Reports
  • Relevant records (including customer feedback, corrective action log etc.)
  • Register of Legal and other requirements
  • Complaints analysis
  • Corrective and preventive actions and close-out of Management Information Reports
  • Policies review

4. Look at Trends

In order to keep improving your Management System, you need to be looking for trends both inside and outside of your business. Trends can point to recurring issues that although can be resolved individually when they occur, can be prevented completely through a wider change to business processes. They can also highlight potential problems that while may not affect your business currently, could have wide-reaching consequences further down the line.

Consider looking for trends in the following areas:

  • The requirements of external interested parties
  • Compliance to legislation, regulations and other requirements
  • Changes to products, services and processes
  • Customer satisfaction and complaint records
  • Non-conformances and the effectiveness of any corrective actions taken in response

After the Review

5. Reporting

The writeup of the minutes, or selected parts thereof, should be distributed to all appropriate members of staff. This is especially important if any of the discussions during the meeting include decisions and actions related to:

  • Any opportunities for improvement within the business
  • Any changes to the Management System, processes or policies that are required
  • Any revisions to company objectives or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Any amendments to business plans or budgets
  • Any changes to the resources that are needed for the smooth-running of the Management System

These type of changes affect day-to-day operations so it is important to keep staff informed of these changes as this will ensure that your Management System is operating effectively.


Further Information

If you require any further information regarding your Management Review, this video tutorial will guide you through the process.

Detailed templates are available for QMS customers to help produce an effective Management Review agenda and meeting minutes. These templates can be downloaded from our Launchpad portal (under the “My Documents” section).