Clause 5 of
IATF 16949 –Leadership

This article is about IATF clause 5-Leadership. After reading this you will understand meaning of leadership, importance of learning leadership in an organization, requirements of ISO 9001:2015 for Leadership. This article is written along with heading covered in IATF 16949:2016 manual. 

When you completely go though the IATF 16949:2016 manual. You will understand basics of industry requirements, will understand rules and requirement to run any business. This learning explore knowledge about industry. 

You can read IATF Clause 4 before reading this article. 

This clause
of the standard requires top management to demonstrate leadership and
to the QMS, along with defining corporate responsibility and the quality
. The top management must also assign process owners along with other roles
and responsibilities

This clause places requirements on “top management” which is
the person or group of people who directs and controls the organization at the
highest level. This reflects increasing market and governmental expectations
for improved integrity in social and environmental matters.

Leadership meaning- It is nothing- just responsibility to
lead something. Leadership is a skill which involves motivating a group of
individuals to work towards a common goal.

Here is the structure of clause 5 of IATF 16949:2016, heading and its explanation is given in article:-

to ISO 9001, why is there a need to
understand leadership in an organization

In an organization, we need to guide a staff and colleagues
with a strategy and a plan to meet this business need of company. Generally the
responsibility of deciding company goal and vision come under top management,
which could be one personal or group of person who direct or control the
organization.  Here top management is
leader. Top management is responsible to ensure QMS effectiveness in an
organization. Also they are ensuring QMS is operating with business process and
have achieved its intended result. QMS is integral part of business. No
organization can meet its intended result (Growth, Success, Profit, etc) if QMS
is not established. So it becomes important to take charge of establishing QMS
and operating it with business process.

Before moving further let’s take a look on what is QMS

QMS-Quality management system is collection of business
process, procedures and responsibilities focused on consistently meeting customer
requirements and satisfaction.  Reference
for QMS is given in ISO 9001:2015, specifies the
requirements for a QMS that organizations can use to develop their own

and requirement of QMS in an organization is described in below picture. Most
of Automobile manufacturing companies verify these QMS elements or requirements
under their regular system audit program. Like in Suzuki they say VSA-Vendor
system Audit.

QMS elements are as below, which need to maintain for QMS

  1. Quality objectives
  2. Quality Policy
  3. Organizational structure and
  4. Data management  & Document Control
  5. Internal Processes
  6. Product quality leading to customer
  7. Quality Improvement &
    Quality Analysis
  8. Quality instrument
  9. Employee training and engagement
  10. Supplier quality management

Here we have covered 3 major heading of clause 5:-

  1. Leadership and commitment
  2. Quality Policy
  3. Organization roles,
    responsibilities and authorities

5.1 Leadership
and commitment

Now we have understood leadership, the definition and its need
in an organization. Here what is meaning of commitment in the heading? Commitment is
promise or responsibility. 

Let’s see general requirements of ISO 9001:2015 :-

Top management shall demonstrate leadership and
commitment with respect to the quality management system by:

  1. Taking accountability for the effectiveness of the QMS
  2. Ensuring that the quality policy and quality objectives
    are established for the QMS and are compatible with the context and strategic
    direction of the organization
  3. Ensuring the integration of the QMS requirements into the organization’s
    business processes
  4. Promoting the use of the process approach and risk-based
  5. Ensuring that the resources needed for the QMS are available;
  6. Communicating the
    importance of effective quality management and of conforming to the QMS
  7. Ensuring that the QMS achieves its intended results;
  8. Engaging, directing and supporting persons to
    contribute to the effectiveness of the QMS
  9. Promoting improvement
  10. Supporting other
    relevant management roles to demonstrate their leadership as it applies to
    their areas of responsibility

So company leaders has to take responsibility of QMS, Have
to established quality policy and quality objectives, defining corporate responsibility and  assigning process owner along with their role
and responsibility
. Top management will be responsible for checking
effectiveness of QMS within the organization.

5.1.1 Corporate Responsibility

IATF 16949 includes the requirement for an anti-bribery policy,
an employee code of conduct, and an ethics escalation policy (Whistle Blowing
Policy) to address increasing market and governmental expectations for improved
integrity in social and environmental matters in the automotive industry. This
implies responsibility and empowerment at all levels and functions of the
supplier/organization to follow an ethical approach.

5.1.2 Process effectiveness and

Top management shall review the product realization processes and
support process to evaluate and improve their effectiveness and efficiency. The
result of the process review activities shall be included as input to the
management review.

5.1.3 Process owner 

management shall identify process owners who are responsible for managing the
organization’s processes and related output. Process owner shall understand
their roles and be competent to perform those roles.

To identify “process” owners whom competent and understand their
roles in relation to the QMS. Top management now has greater involvement and
responsibility in the management system and must ensure that the requirements
of it are integrated into the organization’s processes and that the policy and
objectives are compatible with the strategic direction of the organization.

The organization has to review their processes to ensure
effectiveness and efficiency of QMS. For review organization must add result of
process review into management review.

5.1.4 Customer focus 

Top management shall
demonstrate leadership and commitment with respect to customer focus by
ensuring that:

  1. Customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements
    are determined, understood and consistently met;
  2. The risks and opportunities that can affect conformity of
    products and services and the ability to enhance customer satisfaction are
    determined and addressed;
  3. The focus on enhancing
    customer satisfaction is maintained.

Top management need to demonstrate
consistent customer focus by
showing how they meet customer requirements, regulatory and statutory
requirements, and also how the organization maintains enhanced customer

5.2 Establishing the quality policy

Top management shall establish, implement and
maintain a quality policy that:

  1. is appropriate to the purpose and context of the organization
    and supports its strategic direction;
  2. provides a framework for setting quality objectives;
  3. includes a commitment to satisfy applicable requirements;
  4. Includes a commitment to continual improvement of the quality
    management system.

5.2.1 Communicating
the quality policy

quality policy shall:

  1. Be available and be maintained as documented information;
  2. Be communicated, understood and applied within the
  3. Be available to relevant
    interested parties, as appropriate

The quality policy should be a living
document, at the heart of the organization. To ensure this, top management is
accountable and has a responsibility to ensure the QMS is made available,
communicated, maintained and understood by all parties. There is also a greater
focus on top management to enhance customer satisfaction by identifying and
addressing risks and opportunities that could affect it.

Top management shall assign personnel
with the responsibilities and authorities to ensure that customer requirement
are met.  These assignments shall be

Top management needs to demonstrate an
understanding of the key risks associated with each process and the approach
taken to manage, reduce or transfer the risk. Finally, the clause places
requirements on top management to assign QMS relevant responsibilities and
authorities, but they must remain ultimately accountable for the effectiveness
of the QMS.

Organizational roles, responsibilities and authorities

management shall assign the responsibility and authority for:

  1. Ensuring that the quality management system conforms to the
    requirements of this International Standard;
  2. Ensuring that the processes are delivering their intended
  3. Reporting on the performance of the quality management system
    and on opportunities for Improvement in particular to top management;
  4. Ensuring the promotion of customer focus throughout the
  5. Ensuring that the integrity of the quality management system
    is maintained when changes to the quality management system are planned and

5.2.4 Responsibility
and authority for product requirement and corrective action

Top management shall ensure that:-

  1. Personnel responsible for conformity
    to product requirement have authority to stop shipment and stop production to
    correct quality problem.
  2. Personnel with authority and
    responsibility for corrective action are promptly informed of product and
    process that do not conform the requirement to ensure that nonconforming
    product is not shipped to the customer and that all potential non conforming product
    is identified and contained.
  3. Production operations across all
    shifts are staffed with personnel in charge of, or delegated responsibility
    for, ensuring conforming to product requirement. 
This was all about Leadership article. You may also like following article related IATF clauses. 
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Clause 2 of IATF `16949

SCOPE of IATF 16949

IATF 16949 and ISO 9001:2015 relation