Job Descriptions Under ISO 14001 - Section 4.4.1 Structure and Responsibility

#1
We have just started to issue all of our documentation for our EMS. Anyone have any advice on how to handle section 4.4.1 Structure and Responsibility - “…authorities, roles and responsibilities”. Any ideas on how to define responsibilities and authorities other than delineating all employees responsibilities under the EMS in their job descriptions? Is it possible to reference training records in job descriptions for specific responsibilities? In our organization, everyone has there training requirements as related to our EMS spelled out in our training matrix.
The problem is that someone, six years ago, added separate responsibilities to each and every job description under our Quality system…and now they want to remain consistent and change all the position descriptions to include a “token” clause referencing ISO 14001.
Those position descriptions for individuals having specific responsibilities in operating the EMS have already been changed.
Could we just use an org. chart for responsibilities in operating the EMS?

Not a super critical question, but with our limited resources (mainly time) I need to simplify as much as possible.

Thanks in advance,

MCJ
 
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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#2
--> authorities, roles and responsibilities

Job descriptions are a minor source of these. Most are defined within procedures, work instructions, organizational charts and related documents. Even your quality manual will define some "...authorities, roles and responsibilities..." In ISO 9001 this also applies to the 'communications' requirement. If you have a corrective action procedure, for example, the procedure will typically contain who is responsible for what and thus lines of communication as well.

Job descriptions are often only a minor part of the whole when it comes to defining "...authorities, roles and responsibilities..." within a company.
 
#3
Thanks Marc! I had figured as much, but had hoped for an affirmation. Now to convince the powers that be!

mcj
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#4
How much of a role does Human Resources / Personnel need to play in this? Would it not depend upon how the organization was structured and conducted their internal business? Could there not be "implied" responsibilities because of job title?

I tend to be a little liberal in my look at systems.
 
G

goose

#5
I think it depends on how your organization is structured. Currently our Environmental, Health, and Safety Manager resides and reports in the HR function. Thus much of the training, orientation, etc.pertaining to the EMS is handled through HR. In another life the EMS guru was the Facilities Engineer and Manager and training and awareness was with this function.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#6
-> Would it not depend upon how the organization was
-> structured and conducted their internal business?

Yes. Entirely.

-> Could there not be "implied" responsibilities because of
-> job title?

Job titles are supposed to have defined, documented responsibilities. I suggest you not try to convince an auditor that a responsibility is 'implied'. I'd chuckle if I was told that.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#7
That's kinda what I'm thinking too.

My client is not too sure as to why HR needs to be involved in the 14K process beyond some training issues. I'm trying to impress the importance of all departments equally and not just focusing on maintenance, manufacturing and EHS.
 
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