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Effectiveness of the Quality Management System?

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Peter Hendry Created:   May 28, 2021 Last commented:   May 28, 2021

Effectiveness of the Quality Management System?

Who should be the best authority to annually judge a company's QMS as being effective? 

My perception is that the certification body assessor should be the only judge, due to conflicts of interests within company structures such as, an internal auditor recording the effectiveness at the end of a completed annual audit schedule could be seen as conflicting, or a statement of effectiveness recorded at the end of annual management review minutes by internal management, could also be seen as conflicting against the audit protocols of not conducting assessments of processes that employees are engaged in.

For example: Should a Managing Director who is also responsible for Supply Chain Managenment conclude that the QMS is deemed as effective.?

Could an external assessor find conflict in the organisation's self effectiveness methodology of the QMS questionable in the above examples.?

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Carlos Pereira da Cruz May 28, 2021

Unfortunately, I cannot agree with you. First, the main purpose of third-party audits is to check conformance with audit criteria. Normally, third-party audits don’t invest much in effectiveness evaluation. In one of my first certification audits, as a third-party auditor, I asked the organization why they changed their certification body. Their answer was: the other certification body was raising findings because of effectiveness. Later, I asked them to see the last certification body report and I remember thinking: Yes, this is not in the standard, but this makes a lot of sense in terms of business.

I think that the best authority to evaluate a company's QMS as being effective is top management, as long as the quality objectives are good objectives. Being effective means meeting quality objectives. Evaluating effectiveness is straightforward: do we met our objectives? Yes, or no? Another thing is to know if those objectives are relevant.

Who is the one that has more to lose, more pain to suffer due to bad performance? I believe it is top management.

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May 28, 2021

May 28, 2021