Why You Need One Quality Management Meeting a Month and NOT Just One a Year

Your company will perform far better if senior managers meet to discuss business quality system performance more often than what ISO 9001 requires you to do.

If you see a ISO 9001 Quality Management System as merely a way to get more business, you are missing a great deal of business growth value from its use.



ISO 9001-2008 Clause 5.6.1 only requires a management review at ‘planned intervals’. Common past practice is for senior managers to meet once annually to appraise the performance of their ISO9001 quality management system. Provided the meeting is a scheduled event, an ISO 9001 Auditor will be satisfied that the clause has been met. Unfortunately the typical ISO 9001 Auditor is only interested in whether you meet ISO 9001 requirements; they care nothing about how successfully your business operates (unlike an LRS Consultants ISO 9001 Quality System Auditor who is greatly interested in helping your business be efficient and effective).

Because the typical ISO 9001 Auditor does not ask you to have more than one management review meeting a year, most managers presume that once a year is the right choice. But they could not be more wrong.

When you have a ISO 9001 quality system management review meeting you must meet ISO 9001 Clause 5.6.2, which states:

“The input to management review shall include information on:

Review input

  1. results of audits,
  2. customer feedback,
  3. process performance and product conformity,
  4. status of preventive and corrective actions,
  5. follow-up actions from previous management reviews,
  6. changes that could affect the quality management system, and
  7. recommendations for improvement.”

This clause is preceded by Clause 5.6.1 shown below.

“Top management shall review the organization’s quality management system, at planned intervals, to ensure its continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness. This review shall include assessing opportunities for improvement and the need for changes to the quality management system, including the quality policy and quality objectives.”

The bolded words are my enhancement, done purposefully to show you why you must have a ISO9001 management review monthly and not yearly. You can see from the content and implications of the above Clause 5.6.1 that ISO9001 specifically wants managers to understand the causes of their business performance. The entire purpose of a management review is to force the senior management together to see how their business is going, to understand why it behaves the way that it does, and to address unsatisfactory issues proactively before they cause trouble.

How poorly a business would perform if that level of total management involvement and understanding only happened once a year. Imagine how distorted and uncoordinated a company would become if its managers only looked at total business system performance annually.

Our recommendation is to look at your total ‘business system’ performance monthly and make sure all the management review information required by ISO 9001 is presented to your the senior management group once a month. There is nothing in Clauses 5.6.2 about the business-wide behaviour of a company that would not be valuable for its managers to know each month.

I do not suggest that you have a ‘management review meeting’ monthly. Rather, you collect the information and do the analysis that a management review meeting requires, and you present that information monthly. The simplest way to insure you constantly watch the business-wide performance of your company is to include the bullet points of Clause 5.6.2 into your monthly management meeting and so make those vital topics a monthly action to review.

From the detailed knowledge and understanding that a monthly ‘management review meeting’ brings you, you will also satisfy Clause 5.6.3 of ISO 9001:

Review output
“The output from the management review shall include any decisions and actions related to

  1. improvement of the effectiveness of the quality management system and its processes,
  2. improvement of product related to customer requirements, and
  3. resource needs.”

By looking at the content of a ‘management review meeting’ monthly you start acting proactively to improve the way your business system performs. It will not be long before you start seeing your business performance and competitiveness rapidly improving. By having the content of an ISO 9001 management review meeting in your monthly management meetings you automatically comply with ISO 9001 requirements, you will still keep the ISO 9001 Auditor happy, and, most importantly, you put into place a powerful means to monitor your total business system performance and be able to act on problems, and take new opportunities, well ahead of time!


My best regards to you,

Mike Sondalini
Managing Director
Lifetime Reliability Solutions HQ