Who is responsible for ISO 9001 in your company?


Jim Biz

HI Kevin:

The designated "responsible authority" here is the ISO/QA manager. But in a sense "everyone" must play a part in it by following the procedures set within the system.



In Charge of Quality?

QA Manager leads the company in understading the quality requirements per the standard being applied. QA Mgr oversees the whole operation and helps lead the Department Managers in keeping compliance and searching for CI areas.

Each Department Manager is responsible for maintaining quality and continuous improvement of their quality system in their department.

Each employee has the responsibility to not accept "bad product" from any "customer" and to immediately act upon breaks / alterations from procedure.

Doug Stimson

Quality is one of three Core Values of the Corporation. Emphasis on quality is championed by the quality function. If you do away with the quality function (as non value add) the company is in trouble not only from product perspectives but also service, customer satisfaction etc.

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Thanks for responding folks. Here are my thoughts one respondent at a time.

Jim: I like the inclusion of "everyone". I agree. Here is my follow up question for everyone here at the Cove: do you think "everyone" really understands this responsibility?

Randy: A Dynamic Duo! Don't let your wife know that you are responsible for Quality. She might disagree (LOL)!

Louie: A nice broadening of the question. This is exactly right. Quality is everyone's responsibility, but Quality is born in the boardroom. If management is responsible for 94%, then management bears the greatest responsibility for improving the Quality System, ISO or otherwise.

Doug: One of three Core values? What are the other two? Your comment gets to part of the topic I didn't post. The "Convenience Factor of ISO". Responsibility to meet the standard is often stuck into the closet when it suits some folks. We have all seen this to one degree or another.

My second question, my brief disclosure, and your valued responses will drive the discussion a bit further, so I'll hold off a bit on posting my thoughts.



Dan Larsen

For my money (and what I try to get clients to undersatand), the President is responsible for ISO (or QS). It's HIS system to make or break. Remember that the Management Representative is responsible to the President.

Aaron Lupo

In theory, each employee is responsible for ISO in our company from the Executives down to the technicians. It is everyone’s responsibility, upper Management should support the efforts and allocate the resources needed to implement ISO or any other Standard you comply with. Department Managers are responsible for hiring persons with the appropriate education and experience, and assigning the responsibilities to each individual, and providing the necessary training.

Now in reality the Executives only want to know when our registrar is coming in, the Managers don't want to do "the extra paperwork", so QA has to hold their hands and wipe their noses. QA also get to take the blame when things go wrong we often hear "I was never told that", or "We never had to do that before ISO". Yet when we get a compliment the Department takes the credit.

Ahhh the life of a QA employee, what a joy!!

Laura M

Comments from 2 typical organizations (paraphrased) that key into who's responsible.

Me: QS requires FMEA's
CEO - Company 1: We haven't had a customer ask yet for one. How many do we need to pass the audit?
QA - Company 1: I know we need to do them, but I won't get cross-functional help.
Sales - Company 1: Are we registered yet?
Who's responsible? - The management rep. - and QA department - just get them through the audit.

CEO - Company 2: We've done them in the past and learned alot. It would be a good thing to implement across the board. Can you train us? We want to establish a library of them to communicate lessons learned and improve for the next program.
QA - Company 2: Engineering is compiling a list of current projects we want to do FMEA's on.
Sales - When's the training? I want to understand this.
Who's responsible? - CEO - entire organization.

Yes, I've seen Company 2 in action - they do exist.


Super Moderator
Trusted Information Resource
Laura, you are right, companies that walk the walk do exist. I am usually lucky, the corporation I work for falls into the excellent participation category 95% of the time. What more can you ask for.

Our understanding is this:
I am responsible for making sure management knows what has to be done to meet/keep our certification. I also am responsible for making sure that the real workers understand what and why.

Management is responsible for backing me up, providing everyone with the resources they need to meet the quality goals, plans and system. It is their job to set an example for everyone else. If they don't show that quality is important, it certainly won't happen.

Everyone is responsible for quality. Only the operators themselves can control the quality, anyone else just verifies it. We have no "quality control" personnel. We do have quality assurance people. They take care of off-line testing etc.

I've work with various divisions and for the most part, everyone follows the same philosophy. There is some variance in level of commitment, but statistically there is variation in all processes.

I guess that when you can say that you actually enjoy showing up for work each day, and your co-workers aren't ready to vote you off the island, management commitment must be where it should be. We've had our moments where they didn't like what I've told them but in the long run, they've agreed that it needed to be done. We all go home friends at the end of the day.

No ulcers for me! I love my job.
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