Middle Management can often be the missing link in Quality Management Systems


Middle Management can often be the missing link when it comes to effective Quality Management Systems

The ISO:9001 Quality standard, requires Top Management to demonstrate Leadership and commitment with respect to quality management systems.   This makes a lot of sense as work cultures are best influenced from the top down.  However, what the standard does not elaborate on, is that Heads of Departments / Middle Managers / Supervisors / Team Leads etc. are equally important and are required to help and support Top Management by contributing in the following ways.


  • Help to improve the effectiveness of the quality management system.
  • Support the implementation of the quality policy and support the achievement of relevant quality objectives.
  • Help integrate the quality management system into your department and processes.
  • Support in promoting the use of the process approach and risk-based thinking.
  • Help to ensure resources needed for the quality management system are available.
  • Help to communicate the importance of effective quality management and of conforming to the quality management system requirements.
  • Help to ensure that the quality management system achieves its intended results.
  • Help in engaging, directing, and supporting persons to contribute to the effectiveness of the quality management system.
  • Help to promote continual improvement.
  • Help to support other relevant management roles to demonstrate their leadership as it applies to their areas of responsibility.
  • Help to identify, determine, and address the risks and opportunities that can affect
  1. conformity of products and services
  2. the ability to enhance customer satisfaction
  • Reporting of all non-conformances when the organizations, Customers, ISO or legal requirements has not been fully met, such as customer complaint or deviation from established procedure.
  • Reporting of all nonconforming outputs (when requirements have been met but an undesirable output or opportunity for improvement is identified).


When the heads of departments are clear on their role in contributing to the quality management system, then this can bridge the gap between Top Managements commitments and the quality management system achieving its intended results.  In addition to the above for management roles, all employees should be aware of the following.


  • The quality policy and relevant quality objectives that their role can contribute to.
  • Their contribution to the effectiveness of the quality management system, including reporting of non-conformance.
  • The implications of not conforming with the quality management system requirements.




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