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What is Clause 9 and how it impacts your Integrated Management System?

We are now at the stage of reviewing and evaluating the performance of the management system. Asking ourselves - are we doing what we say we’re doing or do our best-laid plans actually work


In this article, Auditor Training Online's director and triple certified real-world auditor, Jackie Stapleton sits down and explains the importance of Clause 9 Performance Evaluation to any Management Systems.

No more guessing or confusion! 

 

Clause 9 refers to Performance Evaluation, so when I see this, it’s pretty clear that we are now at the stage of reviewing and evaluating the performance of the management systems. Asking ourselves - are we doing what we say we’re doing or do our best-laid plans actually work. This performance evaluation is about continual and proactive improvement. This is a great opportunity to find out where you can improve your system. And looking at this with this positive aspect really helps to embrace the process.

The common clauses in clause 9 across each of the standards for quality, environment, and OH&S are:

> Clause 9.1 Monitoring, measurement, analysis, and evaluation

> Clause 9.2 Internal audit

> Clause 9.3 Management review

Now, while I say that clause 9.1 is common across all Standards, each of the Standards has their own ‘twist’ to it, so I’ll touch on those briefly too. However, first up overarching is the General requirements for clause 9.1, which are consistent across all Standards. I hope I’m not confusing you! I’ll explain further.

So, all 3 Standards have a clause 9.1.1 – called General and this is all about the organization determining what needs monitoring, how monitoring, analysis, and evaluation will be conducted, as well as when it will be conducted. This is all about monitoring, measuring, analysing, and evaluating your management systems – whether it’s Quality, Environment, OH&S, or any other. Just figure out what this looks like for you and your business.

Now after this common requirement, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 include a specific requirement to evaluate compliance. This is just a bit more specific with regards to what to monitor because of course OH&S and Environment specifically include legal and other requirements.

Now ISO 9001 also goes off here and includes specific requirements for customer satisfaction and analysis and evaluation. This makes total sense, as ISO 9001 is all about the customer, so of course, there should be a specific requirement to monitor and evaluate customer satisfaction.

Then we get back on track with a very common clause across all standards – clause 9.2 Internal Audit.

It is a requirement that the organization conducts their own audits or reviews of their system and operations against the Standards requirements. This is performance evaluation at its best! Internal audits are a great way for the business to identify nonconformances and improvements. Develop a risk-based audit schedule and focus on areas of higher risk or those that have changed.

Then finally clause 9.3 Management review is all about top management reviewing the performance of the management system. Top management are normally described as the people that direct and control the organization – or as I always say – the decision-makers. There is an entire list of inputs, or you could call them topics or agenda items that the Standards list for this management review. These inputs basically cover all of the areas of the Standard.

This is my favourite clause because if conducted well it forms the core of your systems development and improvements.

And also, in some instances, if you are covering all of these inputs you could also be meeting other clause requirements at the same time, which goes hand in hand with what I always say – Work Smart Not Hard!

I do hope that this gives you a high-level idea of what clause 9’s intent is without too many nitty-gritty details.