ISO 9001: Why Does Leadership Matter?

In this series of blog posts, I will be taking a look at the main sections of ISO 9001, what they are, why they are important ...

This week, we're looking at Section 5.1 about Leadership. So, what does Leadership mean? Leadership refers to the top management of the company. That could be the owner, CEO, site manager, directors and so forth.

The standard expects leadership to actively engage and promote the quality management system. Those in charge need to monitor the performance of the company and communicate its effectiveness.

"Why is this important to my business?"

Without proper leadership, any business is likely to fail. ISO 9001 acknowledges this in section 5 of the standard. If the leadership team does not 'practice what they preach' and use the quality management system effectively, no one else will either.

It cannot be simply left for one person in the company to deal with or dusted off the shelf once each year the external auditor comes round. Leadership must be held accountable for the effectiveness of the quality system all the time.

This includes understanding and communicating the strategic direction of the company, being involved in creating quality policy and objectives whilst promoting a process approach and risk-based thinking.

"What do I do with this information?"

The leadership team must be made aware of the standards requirements. I am sure that many of the points mentioned they may already do to some degree. At the same time, there will be other areas the leadership team could improve on.

Many of the companies I have worked with have found it useful to have an independent person to work with the leadership team to help understand the requirements and how to implement them, so if you feel you need a hand please don't hesitate to contact me.


If you would like to know more about anything I've mentioned in this blog post, do give me a call on 01858 414226 or leave a comment below and let's see how I can help you.