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  Responsibility by department rather than individual

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Author Topic:   Responsibility by department rather than individual
Suzanne Artzberger
Lurker (<10 Posts)

Posts: 2
From:Birmingham, MI USA
Registered: Apr 2001

posted 30 April 2001 03:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Suzanne Artzberger   Click Here to Email Suzanne Artzberger     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can our quality system say that a 'department' has responsibility for something (where appropriate) rather than what seems to be our standard 'this person with this title or their designee'? For example, in the past, our Corporate Development Director had responsibility for releasing updated quality documents to other employees via network e-mail. Now, I have the title Director of Quality Assurance and have an administrative assistant (who technically works for the Quality Assurance Department) who, because of all the other things that I have going on, does most of the releasing to the network. I need to modify the procedure and would like to say that the Quality Assurance Department is responsible, rather than a single person. (In fact, I'd like to do this for most cases in our Quality System where my specific title is called out to do something that can just as easily be done by someone else in the 'department'). In our company, we've had this discussion before and there is a feeling that this might be in violation of standard element 4.1.2 where the responsibility and responsible people are defined and documented. I feel that I can argue my point by saying my job description states that I am responsible for all activities of the Quality Assurance Department. I could also write this into the Quality manual somewhere if we need to - some kind of blanket statement that says the Director of Quality Assurance is ultimately responsible for the actions of the Quality Assurance Department. What do you think? My overall problem is I would like our Quality Documentation to have be correct but with future flexibility.

Thanks for your feedback!

Suzanne Artzberger

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Marc Smith
Cheech Wizard

Posts: 4119
From:West Chester, OH, USA

posted 01 May 2001 02:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You can cite a functional position, but not a department. You may cite the quality manager, for example. That does not keep the QM from assigning that responsibility to someone else.

You might get away with just stating the quality assurance department, but if I was your auditor I would have problems buying it.

Remember that a lot of this is about assigning responsibilities. I would be hesitant to be so vague. I suppose that if you use this way of defining responsibilities (for example "The sales department is responsible for...") you would stand a better chance. I would expect to see a link in your job responsibilities document.

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Dan Larsen
Forum Contributor

Posts: 137
From:Sussex, WI
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 01 May 2001 03:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dan Larsen   Click Here to Email Dan Larsen     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with Marc. Assigned responsibilities should be with a personnel position, not a department. If you have a concern about who actually does the work, remember that managers generally delegate tasks. In fact, because of a run in with an auditor quite a long time ago, I tend to include a "delegation rights" statement in the policy manual section that defines responsibility. In effect, any task with an assigned responsibility to a manager may be performed by another employee provided the employee has been trained and has been directed in the task. It's also understood, that if something goes wrong, it's the manager who carries the responsibility for the failure.

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Al Dyer
Forum Wizard

Posts: 622
From:Lapeer, MI USA
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 08 May 2001 09:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Al Dyer   Click Here to Email Al Dyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And include the same type of disclaimer on the org chart.

As in

Quality Manager as alternate Management Representative able to make his/her decisions etc......


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