Exploring the Benefits of Implementing Operational Roles, Responsibilities and Authorities ISO 9001

by Sneha Naskar

What roles does ISO 9001:2015 identify as essential for QMS?

A Quality Management System (QMS), also known as a Quality Management System, is a collection of policies, processes, and procedures that an organization uses to manage quality-related activities. ISO 9001:2015 identifies the following QMS roles as essential:

  • Quality Management representative
  • Policy development and review
  • Development and review of quality objectives
  • Planning is important.
  • Quality Control
  • Quality assurance
  • Quality Improvement
Exploring the Benefits of Implementing Operational Roles, Responsibilities and Authorities ISO 9001

Any organisation looking to improve their quality management practices will find that the QMS roles play a vital role in its success. These roles and responsibilities help organisations to ensure that their quality-related activities and goals are aligned.

ISO 9001 Implementation Toolkit


How can you document the QMS roles and responsibilities?

It is crucial to the success and efficiency of your QMS that you document the roles and responsibilities for those who create, implement, maintain, and operate your system. ISO 9001 also requires it.

A matrix of responsibilities can be used to record roles and responsibilities. A matrix is a table listing all roles and responsibilities in your organization, as well as the department or individual responsible for each task.

A set of quality procedures can be used to define roles and responsibilities. These procedures will specify who is responsible for what task. This method is used often in conjunction with a matrix of responsibilities. It is vital that, whichever approach you take, everyone within your organization understands and accepts their roles and responsibilities.

What Is the difference between quality procedures and work instructions?

Both quality procedures and work instruction documents can be used as a way to document roles and responsibilities. The main difference is that work instructions are a description of how to perform a particular task, whereas quality procedures describe the way a certain task should be done.

A quality procedure might specify that customer satisfaction surveys are conducted every quarter. For example, a work instruction on conducting customer satisfaction surveys could include specific instructions for how to conduct the survey. This might include what questions to ask as well as how to tabulate results.

Under Clause 5.3

According to clause 5.3 in the ISO 9001 standard top management is required to assign responsibility and authority:

  • Planning and implementing a quality management system
  • Establishing quality objectives
  • Ensure the availability of resources
  • Communicate the importance of meeting customers' requirements
  • Ensure that complaints are handled quickly and effectively
  • Monitoring performance
  • promoting continuous improvement
  • Corrective and preventive measures
  • Conducting management reviews

ISO 9001 Implementation Toolkit