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ISO 9001: Roles, Responsibilities And Authorities

Do you know who does what and why?

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In this series of helpful blog posts, commonly called a 101, I will be taking a look at the main sections of ISO 9001, what they are, why they are important to your business and a few tips on how to implement the standard ...

With ISO 9001 it's important to define the roles, responsibilities and authorities in your business!

With ISO 9001 it's important to define the roles, responsibilities and authorities in your business!

copyright: alfaphoto / 123rf

This 101 is looking at Section 5.3 about organisational roles, responsibilities, and authorities. Why is this important to my business? Well, we care because without defining them, things can get a bit messy.

If you do not define who does what, who is responsible and who has authority then no one in your company knows what they can and can't do!

For instance, as the business owner, you most likely can buy that £100k of new equipment as you have the authority to do so, but you may not want your production manager to have authority to spend £100k.

On the other hand, you may be happy delegating authority to your office manager to buy as much stationery as needed, whilst retaining the overall responsibility for the process.

The other key point here is that defining roles, responsibilities, and authorities stops 'sloping shoulder syndrome'. This is where everyone states it isn't their responsibility to get that task done and therefore it doesn't get done. This is where things ' slip through the cracks' as no one takes ownership of things and customers become dissatisfied.

"How do we define roles, responsibilities, and authorities?

Generally, you can outline them in job descriptions, work instructions, organisation charts, and procedures. I like to link the job description to the competency's matrix for completeness.

The ISO 9001:2015 standard has a list of responsibilities and authorities that need to be assigned. This includes specific quality management roles like internal auditors, who report to top management on the QMS and who maintain the QMS integrity as changes are undertaken.

Many of the companies I have worked with have found it useful to have an independent HR person to work with the leadership team to help understand how to create a comprehensive suite of roles, responsibilities, and authorities.

"Would you like to know more?"

If you'd like to find out more about ISO 9001 or would like to talk to me about how to assign organisational roles, responsibilities and authorities for your business, then do give me a call on 01858 414226 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how I can help you.

Until next time ...

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More about Ellen Willoughby ...

I'm Ellen, Director of All About Quality and All About Productivity. I have over 20 years experience as professional in the quality world and 17 years as a practising Buddhist. As a result of this, I have a passion for improvement. in both business and personal life.


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