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Department Plan for QA and HSE (profile, plans, structure, goals, etc.)

Hi All!

I am tasked to submit a proposal (profile, plans, structure, goals, etc.) for the company's newly-created QA and HSSE Department. It was previously under our HR Department and my actual job description is to manage the setting-up and achieving of the various ISO certifications (ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, ISO 45001:2018 and ISO 22301:2012 soon ISO 27001) so more on documentation and ISO-related implementation activities. But as the company is expanding, the top management had decided to have a standalone QA and HSSE department so I was asked to prepare the department structure, specific goals, programs and plans, etc. My title bears the word "QA" which I am a little apprehensive about as I am actually not doing any QA activities besides ISO quality audit and has caused a little confusion on what is expected of me.

I have no experience and any guide at all on this enormous task so I have spent a lot of time searching online on an ideal template/plan but all I get are those Quality Management plans which we already have in the form of our QMS. I actually wanted to build upon either the principles of Quality Management (ISO 9001) or Total Quality Management (TQM) but found it hard to design a work plan/ action plan from those principles (customer focus, leadership, evidence-based, etc.). Added to the fact that I am not only expected to come up with a quality plan but also environment, business continuity, health & safety and soon information security. But I am focused on doing the quality structure first and build up from there.

I hope I have laid down my concerns clearly. Otherwise, I can still provide further information. I would be eternally grateful for your inputs.

Thank you.

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Well, this is no small task is it?

You did not say what industry you are in, or your experience/education/training with HSSE so far, so I am a bit uneasy about what you are asked to do; many HSSE requirements are technical in nature and regulated.

But, we all start somewhere. I can offer the following resources:

ISO 9001:2015 In Plain English. I have this book and find it very good at just what it says it is: describing the requirements in simple language.
ISO 9001:2015 Implementation Handbook. I confess I do not own this book. I must say I am suspicious about its claim to offer a complete audit checklist, as I usually try to discourage people from using "canned" checklists.
ISO 14001:2015 Implementation handbook. I thought this book was worth the money but wished it explained "context" better.

The implementation of 45001 is similar to 14001 in process, though certain subjects unique to 45001 are important, such as participation and consultation of employees. I have not yet seen implementation handbooks for this (safety and health) standard. Tony S has attached an implementation plan for 9001:2015 in Quality Forum Online.

I hope this helps!

Affiliation note: I am a member of ASQ.
Thank you so much, Jen. I greatly appreciate the resources you have shared. However, I should have made it clearer that we already have implemented those ISO management system and had already attained certification.

I was under HR department for the past years but now the management had decided that a standalone QA & HSSE department should be created. Yes, the company structure is quite unique here. My concern is the planning/setting-up of this new department. I was asked to propose the department's structure/org chart, plans and programs.

We are a service industry company and nothing too technical when it comes to our work processes/methods. I have been doing administration and setting-up of ISO management systems.
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