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TÜV SÜD America

Standards

The Changing Role of the Quality Management Representative

Top management is to take more accountability for the effectiveness of the quality management system

Published: Monday, May 11, 2015 - 13:59

(TÜV SÜD AG: Munich) — The revised ISO 9001 standard, scheduled for publication in late 2015, will bring a host of changes for organizations. The new standard, for example, no longer includes the clause requiring top management to appoint a quality management representative (QMR). However, this change does not mean that the role of a QMR will become superfluous. In fact, the function will be embedded in a more supportive environment, as the new standard assigns more responsibility to top management. TÜV SÜD’s experts know the new requirements to which organizations should start adjusting now.

The new ISO 9001 expects top management to adopt a more proactive approach to quality management. In the future, top management is to take more accountability for the effectiveness of the quality management system (QMS). In other words, top management not only needs to provide the resources necessary for a functioning QMS, but must also ensure QMS effectiveness and efficiency.

However, the revised standard not only includes new and expanded requirements, but also some tried and tested elements. As in the previous edition of ISO 9001, top management will be responsible for communicating within the organization the importance of meeting customer, regulatory, and statutory requirements. Top management is also responsible for establishing a quality policy and for ensuring the setting of quality objectives. The requirements to carry out a management review and ensure the availability of the necessary resources continue to apply unchanged.

“For increased leadership and commitment by top management to be successful, top management must not see quality management as an appendix in addition to the actual requirements of business processes,” explains Ulrich Wegner, the technical head of the certification body of TÜV SÜD Management Service GmbH. “Instead, quality management should be closely intermeshed with strategic planning, and where possible, the management control system, and thus with actual corporate management. To reach this goal, organizations must clearly define the roles and responsibilities of managers and executives in the field of quality management.”

To ensure that the importance of quality management is firmly anchored throughout the organization, top management should review quality management and align it to effective and quality-related actions and processes across all levels of the organization. The new ISO 9001 supports this approach by identifying clearer quality objectives for all relevant areas. The QMR role may prove valuable and can still be used in the future to fulfill all of the above requirements. However, those rare organizations in which QMRs are still operating as “lone warriors” will definitely need to undertake some adjustments to meet the requirements defined in ISO/DIS 9001:2015.

Further information about the new ISO 9001 can be found here.

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TÜV SÜD America

2016 marks the 150th anniversary of TÜV SÜD—a premium quality, safety, and sustainability solutions provider that specializes in testing, inspection, auditing, certification, training, and knowledge services. TÜV SÜD America, a subsidiary of TÜV SÜD AG, is a business-to-business engineering services firm providing international safety testing and certification services. Founded in 1987, TÜV SÜD America has more than a dozen locations throughout North America. Operating under the brand names of Product Service, Management Service, Industry Service, Automotive and PetroChem, TÜV SÜD America has partnered with thousands of companies throughout the NAFTA region, assuring product and management systems excellence, and acceptance in the global marketplace.