5.3 Organizational Roles, Responsibilities and Authorities [ISO 9001]

Organizational Roles, Responsibilities and Authorities for ISO 9001

You should record evidence that your personnel have been advised of their roles, responsibilities and authorities and that they also understand their duties in the context of what the QMS is intending to achieve.

ISO 9001:2015 ISO 9001:2008 Summary of Changes
5.0 Leadership 5.0 Management Responsibility

Top Management is now required to demonstrate leadership and commitment in regard to the QMS. They should ensure that the quality policy and objectives are compatible with the business’s strategic direction, that the policy is understood and followed, and that the QMS is integrated into the organization’s business processes.

There are also additional requirements based on the need to identify and address any risks to conformity of goods and services provided to customers.

5.1 Leadership And Commitment


Management Commitment
5.1.1 Leadership And Commitment For The Quality Management System 5.1 Management Commitment
5.1.2 Customer Focus 5.2 Customer Focus
5.2 Quality Policy 5.3 Quality Policy Includes an additional requirement to make the policy available to interested parties and being available as documented information.
5.2.1 Establishing the Quality Policy 5.3 Quality Policy
5.2.2 Communicating the Quality Policy 5.5.3 Internal Communication
5.3 organizational Roles, Responsibilities And Authorities 5.5.1 Responsibility And Authority

Amended, no longer requires the specific position of a Quality Management Representative.

organizations ensure should that Top Management has taken on or delegated the responsibility for management of the quality management system, and that they have established a means to monitor if processes are delivering their intended outputs.

5.5.2 Management Representative

Each employee needs to know who is responsible for the various elements of the QMS to ensure a successful implementation. You should develop and make available to all employees a list of key personnel and their job descriptions, responsibilities, along with an organizational chart of key employees as they relate to the QMS.

This should effectively define, document, and communicate the organizational structure of the QMS. Please note that this method is a suggestion, and other ways of meeting the requirement for organizational structure may be used.

Each employee should also be aware of the Quality Policy and Quality Objectives and how they can contribute to them.

How to implement roles and responsibilities

How to Implement the Requirements

Roles and responsibilities - develop an organization chart and create job descriptions to satisfy the requirements:

  • Clearly define roles, responsibilities and authorities
  • Communicate those responsibilities and authorities throughout the organization
  • Check the requirements are communicated and customer focus understood
  • Responsibility for reporting, monitoring measurement, nonconformity and corrective action

Examples of objective evidence to verify implementation might include:

  • Communication of roles, responsibilities and authority
  • Processes and procedures to fulfill requirements are adequately resourced
  • Awareness of expectations is demonstrated in all relevant levels of the organization
  • Reporting on the operation (audits & inspections) nonconformity and performance of the QMS is done (business meetings, KPI reviews, etc.)

ISO standards dictate you should seek evidence that your organization’s personnel have not only been advised of their QMS responsibilities and authorities, but also that they understand these in the context of the overall purpose of the QMS.

Top Managements' Responsibilities

It is a requirement of ISO that Top Management must assign relevant roles, responsibilities and authority for:

  • Preserving the integrity of the organization’s QMS during changes
  • Determining opportunities for improvement

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Updated: 26th February 2022
Author: Richard Keen

Richard Keen

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