Management commitment to quality is important to any successful management system. Many standards, such as ISO/IEC 17025, require management commitment to impartiality, continual improvement, and development and implementation of the management system.
During this webinar, we went over standard requirements that pertain to management commitment and gave examples of how to apply the requirements as part of management activities. We also touched on the benefits of accreditation in promoting quality and demonstrating management commitment to quality.
Our speaker for the webinar, Melanie Ross, is the Technical Products Developer at ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) and has over 20 years of experience in quality assurance, quality control, and quality management. She has worked in several different industries, including chemical, biological, oil and gas, and aerospace. Her main role in each of these industries was the development of management systems, including internal audit programs, vendor qualification procedures, and implementation of lean six sigma. Currently, Melanie is a Technical Products Developer for ANAB designing and delivering training courses and supporting client outreach through business development activities. Her role serves as a technical resource to customers, assessors, and other interested parties.
This blog is a recap of what was discussed in the full webinar, which can be accessed here.
Management’s commitment to quality is very important because they provide the resources for implementation and maintenance of the management system which contains all the processes related to quality. Their involvement and engagement is needed throughout the organization in order to lead by example and to provide quality processes for individuals to use.
The policies and objectives that management sets need to be meaningful to the organization and not just set because of a requirement in a standard but drive the business. They are also responsible for driving the integration of the management system into business operations.
The standard requirements are not just an exercise in order to check all the boxes, but an opportunity for management to show the importance of quality and their commitment to quality.
Numerous ISO standards use the term “top management” to indicate the highest level of management in the organization. When we think of top management, we often think of senior managers (CEOS, VPs, Directors of HR, etc.). In a laboratory, they may not necessarily have those roles. You may just have a laboratory supervisor. In that case, top management may be the laboratory manager.
There are many areas of the standard that state “management shall”, and we will list a few of those areas below:
Top management shall….
While the standards often state things like communicate with personnel and assign responsibilities and authorities, it doesn’t tell you how to apply the requirements and there are a lot of different ways that management can apply the requirements to the standard. Melanie suggested a few ways to apply the requirements:
Top management needs to take accountability for the effectiveness of the management system. In other words, top management needs to lead by example. The team needs to understand the internal and external issues that impact the organization. This allows them to focus their efforts on the best area that they can demonstrate a commitment to quality. One of the best ways to demonstrate that commitment is to create a culture of quality and customer satisfaction. This is where individuals understand their responsibilities and authorities within the organization and act on those in an appropriate manner through the processes that are laid out in the management system. Lastly, integrate the management system and quality system into business operations and processes.