Should the CEO Need a Job Description?

#1
Hello,

For the past several months i've taken on the task of redesigning our entire training program. As part of this effort, job descriptions have been created to define the roles and responsibilities and competency requirements for each job position.

Our CEO has stated that he does not see the value in writing a job description for himself citing the reason that he built the company from scratch 20 years ago. I realize that the ISO 9001 standard does not dictate that job descriptions be written but I am wondering how else we could conform to ISO 9001 clauses 5.5.1 and 6.2.2a? I'm not so worried about 5.5.1 as the responsibilities of the CEO are outlined in a number of our QMS documents and we have an org chart that shows the reporting structure to the CEO. Compliance to 6.2.2a is what i'm struggling with here. What other work around could be implemented to comply with the intent of the ISO standard in order to satisfy a CB or customer auditor?

Thank you in advance for any feedback you may have. I appreciate the help!

:bigwave:
 
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PaulJSmith

#2
You may be missing the intent of 6.2.2.a. The key element there is the phrase "for personnel performing work affecting conformity to product requirements." Does this sound like part of your CEO's duties? If so, then you may have a problem. If not, then just let it go. No point poking the bear if it's not necessary.
 

Big Jim

Super Moderator
#3
A note was added to 6.2.1 on the 2008 revision to clarify this point.

"Conformity to product requirements can be affected directly or indirectly by personnel performing any task within the quality management system."

It is a bit difficult for me to envision how a CEO is completely void of involvement of something that affects product quality, either directly or indirectly.

The comments he makes about why he shouldn't be considered part of that actually shows that he does have the appropriate education, training, skills and experience.

He is right in that he doesn't have to have a job description (unless you have a procedure that says otherwise), but he does need to document that he does have those attributes. If not in a job description, then at least in some sort of list of skills needed.

If he refuses to do something about this, he is on a crash course for a nonconformance the first time an auditor reviews competencies and the CEO is part of the audit sample. He is playing Russian Roulette.
 

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
"Work effecting conformity to product requirement"
Its the whole work of the organization, that effects in one way or other.
Includes not getting the management responsibility right certainly effects. I am talking about the clause 5. Resources approval being one most important.
Is the CEO competent here in the clear understanding of what clause 5 expects. What are his works.
It can even be something like a Personal Mission Statement
 

Chennaiite

Never-say-die
Trusted Information Resource
#5
No matter what is written on a piece of paper, doesn't a good Auditor understand the actual Competency of the 'Top' during the course of his Audit?
As for the competency requirements, I don't think Leadership is something that can be stereotyped and defined on paper.
 

pkost

Trusted Information Resource
#6
Is his job description not to be inferred throughout your SOPs and manual where it states "CEO/top management is responsible/accountable for...."
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#7
Hello,

For the past several months i've taken on the task of redesigning our entire training program. As part of this effort, job descriptions have been created to define the roles and responsibilities and competency requirements for each job position.

Our CEO has stated that he does not see the value in writing a job description for himself citing the reason that he built the company from scratch 20 years ago. I realize that the ISO 9001 standard does not dictate that job descriptions be written but I am wondering how else we could conform to ISO 9001 clauses 5.5.1 and 6.2.2a? I'm not so worried about 5.5.1 as the responsibilities of the CEO are outlined in a number of our QMS documents and we have an org chart that shows the reporting structure to the CEO. Compliance to 6.2.2a is what i'm struggling with here. What other work around could be implemented to comply with the intent of the ISO standard in order to satisfy a CB or customer auditor?

Thank you in advance for any feedback you may have. I appreciate the help!

:bigwave:
rwp_kennedy,

Drop the job description idea.

Simply describe the CEO's leadership skills, knowledge and behavior in the Quality Manual under the Leadership section.

You can then move on to address more important problems.

John
 
#8
Thanks everyone for your comments!

I tried to argue my point with our CEO regarding clause 6.2.1 by stating that although he is not directly involved with physically manufacturing the product, he does make strategic business and leadership decisions which in turn have an impact on the quality of our product.

Our CEO does not believe that clause 6.2.2a can or should be interpreted as necessarily applying to the CEO because he CEO's of many corporations have no technical background in the business they manage - only managerial experience that ensures that the right people are hired and trained to achieve production standards.

Although part of me understands his point of view, I still believe that we should be determing competency requirements for the CEO in some fashion per clause 6.2.2 a.

I don't think i'm going to win this battle. Feeling frustated. LOL

:argue:
 
I

isoalchemist

#9
We ended writing one for our President/CEO who had the same feeling. We just asked if there was anything in it they were not Responsible for or required for them to drive the organization forward. It focused on vision and leadership so they had to buy it. It was what they did and are very good at it.
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#10
Thanks everyone for your comments!

I tried to argue my point with our CEO regarding clause 6.2.1 by stating that although he is not directly involved with physically manufacturing the product, he does make strategic business and leadership decisions which in turn have an impact on the quality of our product.

Our CEO does not believe that clause 6.2.2a can or should be interpreted as necessarily applying to the CEO because he CEO's of many corporations have no technical background in the business they manage - only managerial experience that ensures that the right people are hired and trained to achieve production standards.

Although part of me understands his point of view, I still believe that we should be determing competency requirements for the CEO in some fashion per clause 6.2.2 a.

I don't think i'm going to win this battle. Feeling frustated. LOL

:argue:
rwp_kennedy,

When your CEO asks you to help with his succession planning you can dig a little deeper into this...

...until then or, possibly, ISO 9001:2015* I would not define the competency requirements of the CEO. It may defy a complete definition in any case.

Meanwhile, update your manual by describing how your CEO applies his various competencies for the success of your management system.

John

* currently the DIS requires competence of all who affect the organization's "quality performance".
 
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