ISO 9001:2015 5.1 Leadership and commitment


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ISO 9001:2015 Clause 5.1 Leadership and commitment







ISO 9001:2015 Clause 5.1 Leadership and commitment


"...Without real and substantiated commitment from an organization's leadership, the environment required to initiate and promote quality will never truly be fully fulfilled and potentially doomed to a costly high-level mismanaged strategic goal..."  Clause 5.1 outlines the principles and planned activities required of top management as leaders, in regards to their full commitment to the QMS.


Clause 5.1 Breakdown


5.1 Leadership and commitment

  5.1.1 General

  5.1.2 Customer focus



Take from ISO 9000:2015


3 Terms and definitions:

3.1 Terms related to person or people

3.1.1 top management:
person or group of people who directs and controls an organization at the highest level



5.1.1 General


Top management must be seen to be doing what it said it would do, this to demonstrate commitment and understanding of the QMS management system.  Clause 5.1.1 general lists ten requirements a) to j) that top management must demonstrate leadership and commitment to.


a) this is the catch-all requirement which mandates that top management hold the accountability for the effectiveness of the QMS management system.  The intention here is to make it clear top management are accountable, and it is their responsibility to ensure the organization runs smoothly and effectively in its undertakings.


b) the cornerstone of the QMS management system is its quality policy (overall intention and direction) and quality objectives (results sought to be achieved).  Top management has the accountability for establishing the policy and objectives and ensuring they are aligned with the context and strategic direction of the organization, i.e. they are appropriate...


c) top management needs to ensure the organizations business processes are an integral part of the QMS management system and are harmonious to normal day to day activities.


d) requires that top management promote the use of risk-based and process approach with respect to the QMS management system.


e) this requirement is for most organizations (not so much for government-run organizations) fundamental to the success or failure of the business and requires that top management ensure that the resources needed to achieve attended results are accessible.  No brainer really...


f) this requirement is about ensuring that those that need to know, know what they need to know, when they need to know it, in regards to the effectiveness of conforming to the QMS management system needs.


g) top management has responsibilities to ensure that the organization's QMS management system is actually achieving its intended results, failure to do so could result in a slow demise...


h) top management need to engage with, support and give direction to workers and others who contribute to the effectiveness of the QMS management system.



Take from ISO 9000:2015


3 Terms and definitions:

3.7 Terms related to result

3.7.11 effectiveness:

extent to which planned activities are realized and planned results are achieved



i) top management needs to promote improvement, another no brainer...


j) top management needs to support all levels of management to demonstrate leadership within their areas of accountability and responsibility to promote the smooth operation of the QMS management system.


5.1.2 Customer focus


Top management needs to determine the requirements of customers, common-sense really, organizations exist to satisfy the needs of its customers, retain customers, grow customer base etc. (maybe not so much for government-run organizations, many would take the view their goal is to frustrate...)


Clause 5.1.2 is sub-divided into three requirements a) to c) which require top management to demonstrate leadership and commitment in regards to being a customer focused organizations by ensuring that:


a) it makes sense that the first thing top management needs to consider when doing business is any statutory and regulatory requirements are determined and understood and can be met consistently (cost effectively!), whether these requirements are customer-related or come from a countries legislative systems or similar enforcing body / organisation.


b) top management needs to review what could possibly go wrong and how to manage such occurrences, on the flip side there also needs to be an understanding of how to manage and maintain operations that are going well, as the adage says you could well be "a victim of your own success".  These risks and opportunities can affect positively or negatively a customers satisfaction level and thus promote or decrease future business.  Understanding risks and opportunities will allow an organisation to increase the conformity of the products or services its supplies and thus enhance its customer satisfaction.


c) top management needs to monitor customer satisfaction, to keep their eye on the ball so to speak, they need to focus on enhancing customer experiences to promote and maintain customer satisfaction.  Happy customers are more likely to return and support the businesses prosperity.


Useful integrated management system cross references


ISO 14001


ISO 14001-2015 5 Leadership

ISO 14001-2015 5.1 Leadership and commitment


ISO 45001


ISO 45001-2018 5 Leadership

ISO 45001-2018 5.1 Leadership and commitment


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