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What Evidence Should Show That My Management System Is Working?

Ensure that the documentation created and maintained by your organisation to support the operation of the processes is undertaken.

So far we've looked at setting up a management system for your organisation that conforms to ISO standards. But what evidence would you be able to show that it's working?

Evidence may include Top Management reviewing management system KPI’s as part of regular business reviews, awareness of contractors and employees of management system goals and expectations, etc. Check that process inputs and outputs are defined and review how each of the processes are sequenced and how they interact. Look for evidence that your organisation has:

  • Assigned duties/process owners;

  • Assessed risks and opportunities;

  • Provided resources;

  • Maintained and retained documented information;

  • Implemented measurement criteria;

  • Improved the management system and its processes.

Ensure that the documentation created and maintained by your organisation to support the operation of the processes is undertaken. Such documentation might be in the form of a management system manual, staff handbook, documented procedures, work instructions, guidance material, data cards, physical samples, IT systems (including intranet and internet), universal or bespoke software, templates and forms, etc.

Documentation identified and retained by your organisation that shows that the processes were carried out as planned should be retained as physical hard copy records or electronic media (data servers, hard drives, flash drives etc.).

Specific documentation needs to be created and maintained by your organisation, including a description of relevant interested parties (Clause 4.2), scope of the management system including boundaries and applicability (Clause 4.3), description of the processes needed for the Management System together with their sequence, and interaction and application and assignment of responsibilities for your processes.

You should audit your organisation’s management system to focus on process performance and effectiveness. Give priority to the following:

  • Review your organisation’s processes, their sequence and how they interact;

  • Identify functions and the assignment of responsibilities;

  • Review performance against requirements and defined measures, focusing on processes that directly impact the customer;

  • Review your organisation’s process for monitoring and measurement, validation and approval of processes, and process changes;

  • Review the availability of resources and the information required to operate and support associated activities, including appropriate training and competency of personnel;

  • Review process-based management techniques, including the examination of process measures that might include level of quality, output effectiveness, control limits, and process capability determination;

  • Review any existing plans to ensure performance objectives and targets are monitored, measured, and analysed in order to realise the planned activities and achieve the planned results;

  • Review all applicable action taken when objectives and targets are not met to promote continual improvement;

  • Pursue audit trails that address customer concerns or requests for corrective actions, performance against objectives, and relevant process controls.

Based upon the extent of your organisation’s management system processes, you should seek evidence that your organisation has maintained documented information to support the operation of its processes; and that it has retained documented information to provide confidence that the processes are being carried out as planned.

If you would like to look at how to implement an ISO 9001 quality management system, then simply contact us.

Or, if you want to see what's involved in more detail, then get a completely free, no obligation, totally tailored ISO Gap Analysis for your business (only available to UK businesses).

Article originated on The Ideas Distillery blog

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