I have recently seen a lot organizations struggling with defining the frequency for management reviews. ISO 14001:2004, section 4.6 “Management Review,” represents a top management review that’s conducted at defined intervals, as determined by each organization. The ISO 14001:2004 requires management review be conducted at planned intervals. The ISO requirements and implementation guidance documents do not define “frequency.”
The intent of management review is to provide a communication path to top management on how the EMS is performing (results of internal audits and corrective preventative actions), the organization’s compliance status (legal requirements and other requirements, external interested parties), the organization’s continual improvement projects (objectives targets and programs) and other potential impacts to the organization (changing circumstances).
It is recommended that the frequency of the management review be aligned with the organization’s current structure. At most organizations, an operational management review or quality management review is conducted. Best practice would be to align the EMS management review with these meetings and actually integrate EMS into them, as environmental is actually a branch of the organization’s operations anyway. To ease the process of management review, streamline the meetings by integrating the EMS management review into the organization’s existing structure and follow the frequency already defined.