What is a Management Review?
A management review is a regular evaluation of the performance of management systems based on their purpose and goal, as well as whether they are producing desirable results aligned with the organization’s needs. Often, an organization’s top management conducts management reviews to continuously improve processes and standards toward proactively addressing concerns and issues.

Importance of Management Review
While management review meetings aren’t part of the requirements of running a management system certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), companies’ top management teams still have to conduct management reviews. This is because they are an essential component of completing and following the compliance requirements in the management system performance evaluation set out by the certification standard.

Commonly, a management review is used to assess an organization’s Quality Management System (QMS). This is in preparation for when a company or business applies for and maintains compliance with an ISO certification, specifically the QMS standard called ISO 9001. In fact, Clause 9 of the ISO 9001 standard outlines the requirements for a management review, especially its necessary inputs and outputs.

Apart from the quality management review, other management systems that also require conducting management reviews are the following:

ISO 45001 – Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS)
ISO 14001 – Environmental Management System (EMS)
ISO 27001 – Information Security Management System (ISMS)
It’s also worth noting that management reviews play a significant role in an organization’s collective efforts toward continuous improvement. Reviewing the standards and guidelines set out in the management system helps leaders and point persons address areas to be corrected or improved so they can be aligned with the organization’s goals and objectives.

Management Review Inputs and Outputs
A management review, being part of the requirements of an ISO-certified management system, has specific inputs and outputs that must be taken into account by the top management. The inputs are key elements in such a way that these serve as the basis for the review to be conducted. The outputs, on the other hand, are the items or steps to be taken as a follow-up from the management review.

In detail, the following are the specific inputs and outputs of a management review:

What are the inputs of management review?
Results of past management audits (e.g., internal audits)
Relevant customer feedback
Process performance
Corrective and Preventive Action (CAPA) progress
Follow-up from previous management reviews
Changes that have a direct impact on the management system (e.g., incident statistics and review of recent accident investigations, environmental impact and aspects, and relevant legislative changes)
Improvement recommendations from internal audit results
What are the outputs of management review?
Action items for improving the management system
Product improvement steps to address customer requirements
Resource needs
Opportunities for investments and expansion
Employee development programs
A Practical Guide to the Process
3 stages of the management review process
Management Review Process | SafetyCulture

Conducting management reviews can become time-consuming and seemingly complicated. Without an established process and guidelines to help make it practical, the results may fail to satisfy the management system’s goals and objectives.

That said, it’s crucial to understand and implement the overall management review procedure, which involves 3 critical stages:

1. Preparation and Planning
Establish a clear agenda for the review to be conducted. It’s also best to set out a feasible schedule and make sure to let everyone required to attend the meeting know the specifics of the review.

Preparation is key in ensuring that such reviews are going to be practical and well-thought-out. During the first stage, gather insights and data that represent actual results of how your organization’s management systems are performing. Depending on the format that’ll best demonstrate and summarize such data, collect reports from respective departments or point persons to prepare for presentation during the review meeting. These can then serve as guiding documents for discussion and evaluation.

Some guide questions to ask while collating insights and data include the following:

What is the status of the conducted internal audits? Are there any risks and opportunities discovered?
Any progress on our CAPAs?
Are the current suppliers we have continuously supported the organization during the past 6 months?
2. Management Review Session
As a requirement of an ISO-certified management system, the discussions, evaluations, and results from management reviews must be well-documented. This is where the management review outputs come into play. The most common ones include the minutes of the review meeting, the recommended next steps, and key resource needs to carry out the goals and objectives of the improvement plan.

The plan must now include the following and more, depending on the discussion:

Clear details of what needs to be done
Defined roles and responsibilities of people in charge
Feasible timelines and schedules to accomplish the next steps and plan the necessary follow-ups
Outlined resources and other requirements
Established metrics and processes for evaluating results