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What Leadership Now Has To Do Under 9001:2015

ISO 9001-2015 Requirement: The organization’s management must be the primary force behind implementing the Quality Management System, making it one of their top priorities.

Primary Section(s): 5.1, 5.2, 5.3

Secondary Section(s): 0.2,7.1,9.3

Key Requirements:

Implementation Tools:

Section 5 Leadership

Section 5.1: Leadership and Commitment

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

Expanding upon this, this section requires organization leadership to:

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.

Section 5.2: Policy

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

Section 5.3: Organizational Roles, Responsibilities and Authorities

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.

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