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IATF clause 5-Leadership

IATF clause 5-Leadership is the subject of this article. 

You will learn the meaning of leadership, the significance of developing leadership skills within a company, and the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 for leadership after reading this. This article is created in accordance with the IATF 16949:2016 manual's headings. 

When you have read the IATF 16949:2016 manual in its entirety, You will learn the fundamental guidelines and requirements needed to operate any type of company. The topic of this clause investigates understanding of industry. 

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Leadership and Commitment explained

It takes leadership to inspire a group of people to work together towards a shared objective. In a professional situation, this entails leading and directing co-workers and employees in accordance with a strategy or plan to meet the company's business needs.

The above are also emphasized in ISO 9001 Clause 5, which is all about the function of leadership in the quality management system. To put it plainly, leaders must "walk the talk" if they want to reap the rewards of the quality management system. To accomplish the intended goals and create unity of purpose, they must make sure the quality management system and the business processes are working together.

Why is it important to understand? 

To successfully launch any new project within an organization, a leader is essential. When leaders do not actively participate and do not set the example, many process changes fail. This clause, which makes sure that the leader's role is understood and that they take control of the quality management system and its outcomes, is why ISO 9001 places stress on it. The leadership's involvement is crucial for bringing the quality management system closer to the company. When leaders actively contribute to the QMS' efficacy, they guarantee that quality is ingrained in the organization and that everyone takes it as seriously as the leader does. The only person who can effectively motivate and encourage others to support and improve procedures is a leader. Furthermore, ISO 9001 places a strong focus on risk-based thinking, identifying internal and external issues, interested parties' requirements, and designing the QMS around them. As a result, it is critical that top management shall be involved at every step of developing and maintaining the QMS.

IATF Clause 4 is available for studying prior to this article

Top management must demonstrate leadership and dedication to the QMS, as well as define company responsibility and the quality policy, according to this clause of the standard. Along with other roles and obligations, process owners must be assigned by the top management. 

This clause assigns obligations on "top management," which is the individual or group in charge of overall direction and control of the company. This represents growing public and Governmental demands for greater integrity in social and environmental issues.

The definition of leadership is simply having to take charge of something. It takes leadership to inspire a group of people to work together toward a shared objective.

The following describes the heading and conclusions for clause 5 of IATF 16949:2016:

Why is it important for an organization to comprehend leadership, according to ISO 9001?

To satisfy this organizational need, we must lead our team members and co-workers with a strategy and plan. Top management, who can be a single person or group of people who direct or control the organization, is typically responsible for determining the company's goals and vision.  Top administration is in charge here. In order to ensure QMS effectiveness within a company, top management is responsible. Additionally, they make sure the QMS is in compliance with company procedures and has produced the desired results. The QMS is essential to commerce. If a QMS is not established, no company can achieve its goals (growth, success, profit, etc.). Therefore, it becomes crucial to assume leadership in creating a QMS and running it through a business process.

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Before continuing, let's look at what QMS is. 

The QMS, or quality management system, is a collection of business practices, protocols, and obligations aimed at constantly satisfying customer needs.  The ISO 9001:2015 standard, which is used as a reference for QMS and outlines the specifications for a QMS that companies can use to create their own programs.

The following QMS components must be maintained for QMS:
  1. Quality goals

  2. Quality Policy

  3. Roles and Responsibility of the organization

  4. Document management and data administration

  5. Internal Systems

  6. High-quality products result in satisfied customers

  7. Quality Analysis and Improvement

  8. A good tool

  9. Engagement and training of employees

  10. Supply chain quality control

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Here, we've covered three of clause 5's main headings:

  1. Leadership and commitment

  2. Quality Policy

  3. Organization roles, responsibilities, and authorities

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We now understand what leadership is, how to define it, and why a company needs it. What does the heading's reference to commitment imply here? It is a promise or obligation to commit. 

Let's look at some basic QMS requirements

Top management must show initiative and dedication to the quality management system by:

  1. Assuming responsibility for the QMS's efficiency

  2. Making sure that the QMS's quality policy and goals are set and align with the organization's context and strategic direction.

  3. Making sure that the organization's business procedures incorporate the QMS requirements

  4. Supporting the application of the process strategy and risk-based thinking; 

  5. Ensuring the availability of the resources required for the QMS;

  6. Educating others about the value of efficient quality management and QMS compliance

  7. Ensuring that the QMS produces the desired outcomes;

  8. Motivating, guiding, and encouraging others to add to the QMS's effectiveness

  9. Encouraging development

  10. Facilitating other managerial positions that are pertinent to show their leadership as it relates to their responsibilities 

Therefore, business leaders must assume responsibility for the QMS, create a quality policy and goals, define corporate responsibility, and designate process owners along with their responsibilities. The organization's top management will be in charge of evaluating the efficacy of the QMS. 

Corporate Responsibility, 5.1.1

To address rising market and governmental expectations for improved integrity in social and environmental issues in the automotive industry, IATF 16949 includes the requirement for an anti-bribery policy, an employee ,an ethics escalation procedure and a code of conduct (Whistle Blowing Policy). This entails accountability and empowerment for the supplier/organization to take an ethical stance at all levels and functions.

5.1.2 Efficiency and efficacy of the process

To assess and enhance the efficacy and efficiency of the product realization processes and support processes, top management shall review them. The outcome of the process review tasks must be incorporated into the management review as an input.

5.1.3 Process proprietor

Process owners, who oversee overseeing the organization's processes and associated product, must be identified by top management. Process owners must be aware of their responsibilities and capable of carrying them out.

to find "process" owners who are capable and aware of their responsibilities in connection to the QMS. Top management is now more involved and accountable for the management system and is now required to make sure that the requirements are incorporated into organizational processes and that the policy and goals are in line with the organization's strategic direction.

To guarantee the effectiveness and efficiency of the QMS, the company must review its processes. The results of the process review must be included in the management evaluation for the review.

5.1.4 Customer-focus

  1. The requirements of the client and any relevant legal and regulatory frameworks are recognized, comprehended, and consistently met.

  2. The risks and opportunities that can affect product and service conformity and the capacity to increase customer satisfaction are identified and addressed; 

  3. The focus on enhancing customer satisfaction is maintained.

The organization's top management must consistently show that they are focused on the needs of the customer by demonstrating how they adhere to legal, statutory, and regulatory requirements as well as how they keep high levels of customer satisfaction.

Setting up the quality strategy (5.2)

Top management is responsible for creating, enforcing, and maintaining a quality policy that: 

  1. is suitable to the organization's purpose and context and supports its strategic direction;

  2. be shared, comprehended, and put into practice within the company; 

  3. be accessible to pertinent interested parties, as necessary

The organization's core should be its quality policy, which should be a living statement. Top management is accountable for ensuring that the QMS is made accessible, communicated, maintained, and understood by all parties in order to achieve this. Additionally, top management is being given more attention in order to improve customer satisfaction by finding and addressing potential risks and opportunities.

Personnel with the responsibilities and powers necessary to guarantee that customer requirements are fulfilled must be delegated by top management.  Documentation of these tasks is required.

The top management must show that it is aware of the main risks connected to each procedure and the steps taken to manage, mitigate, or transfer the risk. Finally, the clause requires top management to delegate QMS-related tasks and authority, but they must still be held ultimately responsible for the QMS's efficacy.

5.3 Responsibility & authority for product requirement and corrective action

  1. Personnel in charge of ensuring that products meet requirements have the power to halt shipments and production to address quality issues.

  2. Individuals in charge of taking corrective action are promptly notified of any products or processes that fail to meet the standards. This is done to prevent the shipment of nonconforming goods to customers and to identify and contain any potentially nonconforming goods.

  3. Personnel assigned to, or in charge of, overseeing conformance to product requirements are present in all shifts of production activities.


For the development of QMS the role of top management is very crucial. Leadership is required to showcase their commitment throughout the journey of QMS implementation.

When leaders do not actively participate and do not set the example, many process changes fail.

Below the key roles and responsibilities of top management:

  • Top leadership is required to manage not delegate the, quality

  • Leadership has defined the responsibilities for securing quality execution

  • It is mandatory to put extra focus on customer with specific practices ranging from support for regulatory requirement, Risk and enhancing customer satisfaction.

  • The responsibility of top leadership includes but not limited to establishment of quality policy, clear communication and organization-wide responsibility and authority.

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