Why Is a Management Representative No Longer Required in ISO 9001:2015?

A close reading of the standard reveals that while there is no longer a specified requirement for a management representative, the duties of the management representative are still required, so obviously somebody has to mind the management system. A key component of the revisions brought by Annex SL is a desire on the part of the standards writers to get top management personally involved in establishing and implementing the management system, and one aspect of these components is removing the middle man (person) formerly called, “Management Representative.” The new standards place a lot more emphasis, and more requirements, directly in the realm of top management. Accreditation requirements for training classes are focusing on developing auditing skills to address top management during audits. These revisions are being made to get top management deeply engaged in the management system, while revising the standards to make them better tools for top management. By proactively planning management systems in terms of external and internal issues, interested parties, strategic direction, and risk, then removing the management representative, it is hoped top management will not only become more involved because there no longer is someone else running the show, they will also see the management system as a means to achieve the ends they focus on day in and day out.

What are the benefits of ISO 9001 certification?

  • Internal operational efficiency: Lower production costs because of fewer nonconforming products, less rework, lower rejection rates, streamlined processes and fewer mistakes.
  • Access to new markets: Some markets require ISO 9001 Registration, some markets favor companies with ISO 9000 Registration.
  • Customer request: Many organizations are asked by a customer to obtain registration as a requirement to continue or to start doing business with them.
  • Further information on the advantages of ISO 9001 certification.

Why did the 9001 standard change?

ISO 9001 is subject to periodic review to determine whether it is still relevant in its application to the business environment and its needs. The review process determines what requirements need to be added, updated or discarded. The last review and update was in 2008. That change was considered minor and dealt with clarification of points already in the standard rather than the inclusion of new requirements. This latest edition of the ISO 9001 standard ISO 9001:2015, Quality Management System – Requirements is the 5thedition of the ISO 9001 standard since it was first published in 1987. This change is considered major and some of the reasons given include:

  • The need to reflect and adapt to the increasingly dynamic and complex business environments    in which organizations operate.
  • Increasing cultural diversity of the workforce.
  • The emergence of new technologies
  • More complex supply chains.
  • To ensure the new standard reflects the needs of all relevant interested parties
  • Decrease the emphasis on documentation.
  • Increase the emphasis on providing value for the organization and its customers.
  • Recognize the risk management thinking underlying the preventive focus of previous versions of the standard to achieve objectives.
  • Organizations that use multiple management system standards are increasingly demanding a common format and language that is aligned between those standards.
  • Greater awareness of the need for sustainable development initiatives towards a consistent foundation for the future.