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Clause 10 Improvement

10.2 Continual improvement

Clause Criteria

The organization shall continually improve the suitability, adequacy and effectiveness of the management system.


The intent of the clause on continual improvement is to specify the requirements to improve the Management System (MS).

Improvement is focused in three main areas:
Suitability – the extent to which the MS ‘fits’ and is right for the organization’s purpose, its operations, culture, and business systems.
Adequacy – the extent to which the MS is sufficient in meeting the applicable requirements; and
Effectiveness – the extent to which planned activities are realized and planned results achieved.
Continual improvement involves making changes to the design and implementation of the management system in order to improve the organization’s ability to achieve conformity with the requirements of the Management Systems Standard and meet its objectives and policy commitments.
Although there may be value in improving the system elements alone, the intended outcome result of planned actions and other management system changes is an improvement in the organization’s performance.
Several clauses of a Management Systems Standard can assist in achieving continual improvement. A coordinated implementation of these clauses may help to develop a robust way to achieve this improvement, including, but not limited to:
taking actions to address risks and opportunities (6.1);
establishing objectives (6.2);
upgrading operational controls (8.1), taking into consideration new technologies, methods or information;
analyzing and evaluating performance (9.1);
conducting internal audits (9.2);
conducting management reviews (9.3); and
detecting nonconformity(ies) and implementing corrective action(s) (10.1).
The organization periodically evaluates and reviews its management system in accordance with the requirements of;
monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation (9.1)
Internal Audit (9.2)
Management Review (9.3) to identify opportunities for improvement,
plans appropriate actions to be taken in accordance with actions to address risks and opportunities (6.1),
objectives and planning to achieve them (6.2), and
operational planning and controls (8.1).

Chief Explainer:

Phil Byrne

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