Achieving your certification will have been a major accomplishment and you want to make sure it continues to deliver benefits to your organisation for the foreseeable future. Your customers, your employees and other stakeholders will have an expectation that your certification is maintained and you drive the maximum value from your efforts. Below are 6 tips to ensure you establish an appropriate reporting structure and maintain your certification.
1. Measurement of Goals, Objectives and Targets
As part of the preparation for certification and the subsequent audit, you will have developed goals, objectives and targets (key initiatives) for your organisation’s management system. These key initiatives should be aligned with your organisational strategy. This is a crucial part of the management system reliability as it ensures the management system is an integral part of the organisation’s objectives.
Measurement of the progress of key initiatives needs to be in place to establish whether the expected progress is being made. Most importantly, however, feedback needs to be given to the key stakeholders within the organisation about the progress. When the key initiatives are not on track, suitable corrective actions should be generated and implemented to bring the key initiatives back to the plan. This is where the value of this step is realised by taking action to ensure the key initiatives stay on track.
2. Demonstrate Management commitment
Having senior management involved and leading your management system is crucial to ensure the success and the longevity of your management system. Ensuring alignment with your organisational strategy as per point 1 above, helps with this. Having senior management ownership of your management system will ensure that:
- Sufficient resources are available and continue to be prioritised to make the management system effective
- Accountability is established for the management system and associated key initiatives
Regular review meetings with senior management will allow for the key stakeholders in the organisation to have visibility over the progress of the key initiatives and the management system in general.
Leadership and management ownership is another area that is more explicitly mentioned in the current version of 9001, 14001 and 45001.
3. Reporting on regulatory and other compliance
Your management system needs to be a living, relevant organisational process. It is not set and forget, or the realms of just one or two people in the company. There are a number or areas you should ensure you are measuring and reporting against so that your management system is relevant and robust. These include:
- Any changing regulatory requirements that affect your management system
- Capture, processing and implementation of any changing client requirements
- Identification of and subsequent implementation of corrective actions within your management system
Part of the value of your management system is using it as a tool to monitor and evaluate changes to your compliance obligations.
4. Reporting on implementation of corrective actions and system improvement
As highlighted above a key part of the effectiveness of your management system is its ability to measure progress, identify areas for improvement, establish corrective actions and to subsequently monitor and control these actions. Reporting and review processes should ensure that these corrective actions are closed out in a timely manner and that the corrective actions are sustained. Having KPIs and reporting on this as a metric helps to ensure the process is in check.
There should also be measurement or review on the evaluation of the effectiveness of the corrective actions you are implementing. Again, having this as part of the reporting framework in the organisation gives it more visibility and ensures that this part of the management systems is met.
5. Competency and training
It is essential that your workforce is appropriately trained and are aware of and understand how to work within your management system. This usually requires organisations to develop a training plan based on a training needs analysis. Reporting on the progress of this training plan and making sure that training is conducted, and competencies are maintained is very important. As with all other reporting, the value comes in making sure any variances are identified and associated corrective actions are taken, this is no different when it comes to workforce capability.
6. Conduct of internal audits
An effective internal audit program is key to ensuring compliance with the management system. To be effective, internal audit should not just identify where processes are not being followed, they should also identify opportunities for improvement which have been identified from their observations.
An internal audit plan should be set and monitoring and reporting should be in place to ensure this plan is followed. Any findings from internal audits should be reviewed by senior management and corrective actions should be established and signed off. Reporting should then take place on the timely implementation of these corrective actions and whether they were effective. Reporting on progress and performance of internal audits is a requirement of the standards under management review.
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