Leadership, ISO 9001, Quality Management, Quality Management System, SHEQ, SHEQ Software

Roles and Responsibilities

Roles and Responsibilities



Highly Effective Teams Have Clearly Defined Responsibilities

ISO 9001:2015 Clause 5.3 roles, responsibilities and authority is the simplest to complete.  Consequently, if you implement it correctly, everything will fall into place.  But, if you get it incorrect, your entire system will not have direction, eventually, lose momentum and breakdown.

Because ISO 9001 Clause 5.3 title roles, responsibilities and authority does not explain what it is about, you realise that it is about clarity and communication once you understand it.  Employees need to talk to one another and work as a team so that the business works successfully and reaches the projected results of the QMS.


Firstly, your Quality Management System, like a car, consists of many sections that work together to be efficient.  The steering wheel, the accelerator and the brakes are Top Management, and their job is to make sure that the company is moving forward and on the right track.  Middle Management is the mirrors, wheels, and oil that glue the company together to achieve its objectives.  The employees are the engine, and they do most of the work to meet the clients’ needs and expectations.

Each section of the car and therefore the company need to know what part they play and ensure they only do what they are required to do.  You do not need the brakes looking in the mirrors or the secretary manufacturing equipment.  Each department needs to know where they fit in and understand how the other departments contribute to the QMS.  Simplicity and interaction are crucial if the car or the QMS is to reach its capacity.


For a business to achieve ISO 9000:2015 certification, Top Management must be in control.  They need to determine and convey to all employees the following:

  1. The structure of the company.
  2. Clear lines of reporting.
  3. Each employees’ function, accountability, target and end goal.
  4. How essential it is to focus on the client.
  5. Give accountability and power to a staff member to take care of the QMS, ensuring that the activities provide the anticipated results.


We use a company diagram to show the connections between departments.  For example, every person is accountable to their departments’ manager, who they can ask for assistance.  In short, it’s an uncomplicated arrangement and works well in both small to large companies.

Management’s responsibility is to make sure that each staff member plays their part.  They must communicate to every employee the details of their job description both verbally and in writing.  Deciding on one form of communication is not enough.  For example, by giving them their role in writing, your employee will not get clarity, ask questions or put forward any fears.

Taking about their responsibilities is also not a good idea, as you will both forget the majority of the conversation.  Set up a meeting with each employee, go through their job description and determine the targets required for the QMS.  Ask them if they have any questions or concerns.  So don’t rush, as this part is crucial.


At Safety Risk Management, we give all employees access to our Mango Compliance Software, allowing them access to all the QMS material.  We also give them the required training, which helps our staff conduct their jobs to align with the requirements of the QMS.  Many of our clients use Mango Compliance Software – www.mangolive.com.  Mango makes it easier to get ISO 9001:2015 certification.


Not enough attention is given to the importance of staff knowing about their co-workers’ roles. Therefore, understanding the obligations of other team members helps everyone realise the influence they all have.  An excellent way to do this is to design and implement a “Roles and Responsibilities Procedure.”  It details all the positions in the business and the roles and responsibilities associated with each position.  Additionally, it would help if you communicated the procedure both verbally and in writing.

“Understanding the responsibilities of other team members helps every individual understand the impact their own and everyone else’s input.”


To the detriment of many companies, they become too involved in concentrating on their daily tasks and overlook their most important asset, the client!  Customer focus should be the main thing a company does because if you have no clients, you will not have a business.  At SRM, every employee is responsible for meeting customer requirements.


  1. For the company to be successful, each person must know their roles and responsibilities and talk to each other to enable the company to succeed.
  2. Providing the employees with their job descriptions should be done both verbally and in writing.
  3. It would help if you made sure that everyone listens to the feedback that they get from the clients.
  4. Top Management should give authority and responsibility to one person who can achieve the following:
  1. Discuss customer focus, the company’s vision, mission statement and objectives with every employee.
  2. Oversee the maintenance of the system when you organise and implement modifications.
  3. Update job descriptions, processes, company diagrams and systems procedures on the master documents list.
  4. Ensure the processes are delivering their intended outputs.
  5. Report to Top Management on how the QMS is performing and on areas that require improvement.

SRM is ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018 certified. Contact our consultants today. Let us know if we can help you with the development and implementation of your Quality Management System.


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