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Clause 5 Leadership

5.1 Leadership and commitment

Clause Criteria

Top management shall demonstrate leadership and commitment with respect to the management system by:
ensuring that the policy and objectives are established and are compatible with the strategic direction of the organization
ensuring the integration of the management system requirements into the organization’s business processes
ensuring that the resources needed for the management system are available
communicating the importance of effective management and of conforming to the management system requirements
ensuring that the management system achieves its intended result(s)
directing and supporting persons to contribute to the effectiveness of the management system
promoting continual improvement
supporting other relevant managerial roles to demonstrate their leadership as it applies to their areas of responsibility.


The intent of this clause is to identify actions in which top management is personally involved with and directs in the organization. More than responsibility, the requirement of this clause is for top management to be accountable.

Use of the word "ensuring" means that top management may not perform all of these actions themselves (e.g., they may delegate responsibility to others), but they are accountable for making sure they are performed.
The intent of the 1st bullet is that the management system is aligned with the organization’s overall policy and/or strategic direction.
In the 2nd bullet the importance of “integration … into the organization’s business processes” is emphasized and assigned to a nominated management representative.
In the 7th bullet “to demonstrate their leadership as it applies to their areas of responsibility” refers to the “relevant management roles”, and not to top management.
The 7th bullet is intended to require top management to create a culture and environment that encourages people with leadership roles to work actively towards implementing the requirements of the management system and achieving the management system objectives.

Chief Explainer:

Phil Byrne

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