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Roles, Responsibilities and Authorities

Roles (Section 5.3) of the ISO standard is key to your QMS (Quality Management System). If your roles are not identified, then it can have an adverse effect throughout your organization. It can cause confusion among employees and who their immediate supervisor is. My clients often tell me that well there are many roles that an employee may fulfill. That is fine, but they have to be consistent and defined.

If an employee performs the role of a General Manager and Inspector, then these two roles need to be listed in your organization. The best practice is an organization chart that lists all positions and departments. If an employee only performs the role of the General Manager and Inspector, but his or her business card identifies the role of Sales Manager, then this is an issue. If the Sales Manager position is listed on the organization chart, then it is not.

The next step is responsibilities and authorities for each role (organization chart or other means) defined within the organization. What is required of an employee performing the Inspector role? What is required of an employee performing the General Manager role? You must define what are all their responsibilities. Within the responsibilities you have to define what types of authority that role has.

The best practice is the organization chart and job descriptions for each role on the organization. This will also cover the requirements of Section 7.2 of the ISO Standard if filled out correctly.

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