ISO Quality Management System Responsibility And Authority


Responsibility is an area in which one is entitled to act on one’s own accord. It is the obligation for performing the duties of their jobs. It is thus the obligation of a person to achieve the desired conditions for which they are accountable to their superiors.

Authority is the right to take actions and make decisions. Authority in the management context constitutes a form of influence and a right to take action, to direct and coordinate the actions of others. The delegation of authority permits decisions to be made more rapidly by those who are in more direct contact with the problem.

It is necessary for management to define who should do what in order that the work to be done is assigned to someone to carry out. It is not cost-effective to have duplicate responsibilities or gaps in responsibilities as it leads to conflicts or tasks not being done at all.

Identifying work that affects Quality The standard requires that the responsibility, authority, and interrelation of personnel who manage, perform and verify work affecting quality be defined and documented.

The key to this requirement is determining what works affects quality, for if you can identify any work that does not affect Quality, you are not obliged to define in your quality system the responsibilities and authorities of those who manage, perform or verify it.

In principle, everyone’s work affects the quality of the products and services supplied by the organization, some directly and others indirectly. Work can be divided into result-producing, support, and housekeeping activities. All are essential to the business, but the result-producing and support activities affect the quality of the products and services supplied. Examples include production, sales, marketing, etc. Housekeeping activities are those which do not directly contribute to results, but their malfunction could harm the business. Examples include and safety, catering, travel, general maintenance, etc.

Defining responsibilities and authorities ISO standard requires responsibilities and authorities to be documented in addition to being defined, as one can define such things in dialogue without documenting them. The principal ways in which responsibilities and authorities can be documented are:

  1. In an organization structure diagram

  2. In job descriptions

  3. In terms of reference and

  4. In procedures.

Within the Standard, there are several requirements. These include the responsibility and authority for:

  1. Defining the Quality policy and objectives

  2. Assigning trained personnel

  3. Conducting management review

  4. Quality planning

  5. Reviewing designs

  6. Accepting contracts

  7. Approving documents

  8. Evaluating sub-contractors

  9. Planning production, installation and servicing processes

  10. Verifying product

Identifying training needs and providing training, etc.

ISO Quality Management System Responsibility And Authority

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