ISO 9001 Management Representative and Reporting Structure

 

Q: Please define the preferred method of meeting the requirements of the management representative in regards to clause 5.5.2.b in ISO 9001:2008 Quality management systems–Requirements.

My organization has reorganized, and I find the role of management representative somewhat detached. I work for a military organization that would like this role to be several layers below the base captain vs. the open door policy for the management representative used by previous commands. Should the management representative have direct access to the top?

A: There is no defined or preferred method for addressing the reporting arrangement for the management representative to top management. Your organization defines and deploys the approach that is workable for the management representative to report to top management.

Charlie Cianfrani
Consulting Engineer
Green Lane Quality Management Services
Green Lane, PA
ASQ Fellow; ASQ CQE, CRE, CQA, RABQSA Certified QMS-Auditor (Q3558)
ASQ Quality Press Author

ISO 9001 Management Representative

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Q: ISO 9001:2008 Quality management systems — Requirements defines the responsibilities of the management representative (MR). To carry out these responsibilities, the MR needs certain defined authorities. What principle authorities should a MR posses to meet the responsibilities defined? I am a quality manager and I report to the project director, who reports to the CEO. While auditing other directors in the organization, my boss (the project director), requested from me to discuss with him the audit results of other director’s’ audit findings since I am reporting to him. I pointed out that the MR Role is independent and it is not a part of the function of Quality Manager where I report to him.

How can I make it clearer that I need independent authorities to perform the role of the MR?
 
A: Section 5.5.2 Management Representative: defines the appointment and responsibilities of the management representative. He/she is appointed by top management. The implication is that top management can ask for reports on the MR’s responsibilities. A summary of these are:

  • Ensure QMS process are established, implemented and maintained
  • Reporting to top management on performance of QMS and need for improvement
  • Ensure promotion of customer Requirements in the Org.

It is true that management representative responsibilities are not those of the quality manager. But, ISO 9001 does not define responsibilities of the quality manager.

My suggestion is to go to the person who appointed you management representative and ask him if you should provide the information requested.

Sandford Liebesman, Ph.D.
Voting member of the U.S. TAG to ISO/TC 176
ASQ Fellow
Morristown, NJ