What Leadership Now Has To Do Under 9001:2015
Section 5 Leadership
This section hearkens back to the previous sections on management commitment and responsibility. However it adds requirements that:
- An organization’s leaders actually be responsible for the QMS being implemented and effective (no longer can quality management responsibility be delegated)
- More detailed responsibilities, as well as the authority needed to implement the QMS
- Make sure that the QMS is harmonized with the organization’s mission and objectives
- Implement the QMS’ risk-based and process-based methods into the organization’s operation
- Provide the necessary support to fully implement and sustain the QMS
- Explain and support the needs expressed by the QMS to achieve its quality management goals and standards
- Actually guarantee that the QMS meets its goals
- Require and motivate individuals to successfully support the QMS
- Create a culture of continuous improvement
- Foster all levels of management to make the QMS a priority
An important distinction made by this section now broadens the idea of a “business” to virtually any type of organization that wishes to use ISO 9001 as its quality management system including non-profit and government entities.
This section keeps the customer foremost as previous ISO 9000 series revisions did, particularly by fully understanding and then monitoring customer requirements. However this section specifically outlines the top manager’s responsibilities regarding customer satisfaction, specifically stating:
- If the customer has legal and/or regulatory/certification requirements, a supplier must understand and help them meet those requirements.
- The concept of anticipating risks and opportunities must apply to this customer satisfaction function, so leaders must sponsor (and respond to) efforts like SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analyses, specifically to continually satisfy customer needs.
Here the standard says that leadership establish, communicate and enforce a quality management policy is stressed as a primary leadership responsibility, including:
- Direct management responsibility for ensuring that the quality policy is aligned with the organization’s “strategic direction,” including how the QMS’ goals and requirements are set.
- The commitment to make the QMS a living document that is continually updated and refined as the organization learns what does/doesn’t’ work
- An open, accessible (to all stakeholders if reasonable), often updated and well explained quality policy is now management’s responsibility
The standard wants to making sure that each element of the quality policy is properly delegated, explained, understood, executed, monitored and sustained – and that the resulting effort conforms to all applicable ISO 9001 2015 requirements, particularly regarding customer focus/satisfaction.
Please note that certain text from the ISO 9001 standard is only used for instructional purposes. Standard Stores recognizes and respects the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) copyright and intellectual property guidelines.