Section 5.3 of ISO9001: 2015 requires that an organisation seeking to implement the Standard should establish clear roles and responsibilities, in relation to the quality system and its scope.
The author would advocate examination of the high-level interactions of key processes diagram as mentioned previously and to assess which process areas belongs to which department. Then assign clear reporting lines.
In a very small enterprise, there are unlikely to be a variety of departments and one process owner might be responsible for a whole series of activities.
Staff assigned to these roles, need to understand the importance of the quality policy, the management system, and their role in achieving outputs that meet customer needs.
In certain sectors such as the regulated arena roles and responsibilities take on a more fundamental aspect. The manager must sign up to be responsible for their processes.
Areas where there are very specific operations or indeed transactions, might require detailed instructions with dual responsibility assigned.
Managers should report on the areas that they are responsible for. In addition, most organisations will set metrics for the monitor and measurement of key processes. Again, the manager assigned to this process, should be responsible for its daily performance.
There is no defined way to communicate roles and responsibilities. This might be done via job descriptions, duty statements, responsibility tables, work instructions, memos etc. The organisation should create a system that is most aligned to its culture – but avoiding ambiguity with too little data.
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