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The ISO 9001:2015 standard is a set of requirements that set the framework for an organization's quality management system. Clause 5 of the standard addresses leadership. We'll give you a brief and easy-to-understand overview of this clause.
Clause 5 of ISO 9001:2015 is all about the responsibilities of top management within the ISO 9001 quality management system. It includes requirements for active involvement as well as for responsibilities that can be delegated.
The first part of this clause summarizes the various responsibilities of top management with regards to the ISO 9001 quality management system. Among those is the requirement that top management integrate the ISO 9001 quality management system into the operational processes of the company, and aligns policy and objectives with the strategy of the company.
Importantly, top management must take leadership when it comes to customer focus, including determining customer requirements, determining related risks and addressing them, and maintaining a focus on customer satisfaction.
Top management establishes its quality policy. Particular attention is given to a commitment to meeting requirements and to continual improvement, and a framework for establishing and reviewing quality objectives.
Top management ensures that responsibilities and authorities within the company are clearly established. A task or job can only be accomplished if it is clear who is responsible for it.
Top management is ultimately responsible for the ISO 9001 quality management system but they may appoint an ISO 9001 Management Representative who takes on various responsibilities and authorities of the ISO 9001 quality management system.
There are another six clauses in ISO 9001:2015 that contain requirements for a quality management system. For an overview and an explanation of how they all fit together, please see our article on ISO 9001:2015 Requirements.
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