Quality manager is a manager who is responsible for maintenance of quality management system. The function has been described in ISO 9000 series standards.
Everyone in the company is responsible for the quality management system and quality, however the quality manager also has to do additional tasks related to maintenance. A misunderstanding around this issue was one of causes of change in ISO 9001:2015. The standard no longer requires quality manager. It, however, assumes that those functions are fulfilled by one of top managers.
Requrements of ISO 9001 (prior to 2015 issue)
Top management should designate person who, instead of other responsibilities, will be responsible for:
- maintenance of processes,
- reporting to the top management about QMS issues
- provision of information about customer requirements.
Management representative, usually called in the companies a quality manager, is the second person after the CEO on matters related to Quality management system. Its tasks are related to the implementation of the system and care for it, and its development. Quality manager responsibilities will vary, depending on the level of quality of management system implementation.
Qualifications and quality manager responsibilities
For the post of quality manager may be appointed a person from the top management. This means that the management representative must report directly to the CEO. Quality member doesn't have to be a board member, but his rank is comparable to a board member.
Requirements that the quality manager should meet:
- Willingness to take positions and work on it,
- Identification with the company and its objectives,
- The ability to organize work to others,
- Good cooperation with the board and the consultants (if there are any during QMS implementation),
- At least several years of work experience,
- Ability to manage large project, covering the whole company,
- Knowledge of the areas of quality and continuous upgrading of skills,
- Belief in the need to implement the system.
This set of features is rarely found in an employee. You can then hire an experienced person from outside or indicate employee that meets the most of requirements (especially the first five), and then send him to training. Quality Manager must be a person capable of making decisions. Undecided management representative means the failure of the project from the very beginning. This follows from the need to impose a number of staff changes that are necessary, and do not always meet with employees approval. Support of top management is also necessary.
Tasks during the implementation of QMS
The first stage of manager's job is usually to manage the implementation project. It causes many conflicts in the company because of the need to reconcile the different groups of workers' interests (see also: trade union). Quality Manager should be involved wherever possible in working groups. This will enable him to signal emerging problems, identify possible links between processes, motivate participants in working groups, or to limit over-interpretation and excessive bureaucracy. After developing the documentation manager's role is to examine the procedures and removal of errors and inconsistencies.
Quality manager usually is involved in training of quality auditors, and also represents the company during the certification audit.
Tasks after obtaining the certificate by quality manager
The scope of the tasks discussed above relates to the quality system during implementation time. After obtaining the certificate, the main tasks of the management representative are:
- Supervision of the quality management system,
- Planning and organizing audits,
- Conduct of audits,
- Monitoring of the ascertained non-conformities,
- Monitoring of the implementation of corrective and preventive actions
- Cooperation with consulting, training and certification bodies.
- Addey J., (2004) The Modern Quality Manager, Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, Volume 15, Issue 5-6
- Chen I.J., Paetsch K.A., Paulraj A., (1997) Quality manager involvement and quality performance, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 17 Iss: 4
- Howard N.L. (1993) The role of the quality manager, New Directions for Institutional Research, Volume 1993, Issue 78
- Juran, J. M. (2003). Juran on leadership for quality. Simon and Schuster.
- Westcott, R. T. (Ed.). (2013). The certified manager of quality/organizational excellence handbook. ASQ Quality Press.
Author: Slawomir Wawak