Top Management must demonstrate leadership. We covered this on our previous blog, go back to our previous blog if you have not seen it yet. The importance of Top Management demonstrating leadership is now critical should companies be looking to achieve ISO (9001, 14001 & 27001) certification. Prior to the upgrading of the ISO Standards, Management could appoint/nominate a Representative that was left to look after all responsibilities leaving Top Management to worry solely about counting the profits. For those that are currently operating in this manner, unfortunately you will have to change your ways. Although appointing/nominating a representative to oversee the ISO system is still a good idea, they can no longer be left to establish the direction and goals for the business/ISO Management system (such as the Quality Policy Statement and Quality Objectives).
Top Management Involvement
So what do we have to demonstrate during an ISO assessment? This is a common question from companies who are concerned that their management do not have enough involvement. Questions which an external auditor may ask during interviews with Top Management are:
- can you describe the context of the organisation?
- what does the Management System consist of?
- What is the “mission” of the business?
- has the policy statement been written in accordance with the company’s strategic direction?
- what are the company’s and Management System’s major risks?
- what are the company’s and Management System’s major opportunities?
- have you identified the needs and expectations of interested parties?
- how do you ensure sufficient resources are made available?
- how are you supporting other members of management in their roles?
There may be further questions asked, depending on what documentation and records are presented throughout the assessment.
What can help?
There are ways organisations can demonstrate there is good leadership throughout the organisation. However, certain ways could be classed as tick box exercises and do not help the organisation. It is important that there is a quality culture throughout the company, lead from hierarchy and spread throughout the business. Often employees do not understand the strategic direction of the business and do not feel part of a winning team which causes a split between management and employees. We will cover in our next blog ways to create a quality culture.
If you are struggling with the new ISO Standards and need assistance, contact us today to see how we can help you.