Make Organizational Charts


It is important to have a clear overview of the position of the laboratory in the total organization (for example: the National Tuberculosis Programme) and the organizational structure within the laboratory itself. Staff need to understand the relation between quality management, technical operations, support and satellite services, and the hierarchical structure within the organization.


Tools to create a transparent and logical organization are Organizational Charts. The Organizational Charts can be considered as the map of the organization. It shows which place the laboratory has in the organization (in case the laboratory is part of a bigger organization such as the National Tuberculosis Programme or a hospital) and it shows which positions exist within the laboratory, which positions are accountable to other positions, and which positions don’t have authority over other positions but are merely advisory positions.

In the right-hand column a document from the WHO Laboratory Quality Management System (LQMS) handbook is provided that gives background information on organizational structure.

How & who

Laboratory Manager:

  1. If the laboratory is part of a hospital or other organization, two Organizational Charts are needed:
    • One Organizational Chart showing the place of the laboratory within the total organization.
    • One chart showing the organization of positions within the laboratory itself.
  2. If your laboratory is part of a bigger organization make the Organizational Chart as described in the first bullet point. This means that you have to identify all the departments of the bigger organization and the place of the laboratory within this network. In the right-hand column an example of such an Organizational Chart is added.

  3. Make a list of names of all the positions in the laboratory. Examples are: Laboratory Manager, Quality Focal Point, Biosafety Officer, Equipment Officer, Laboratory Technologist, Laboratory Attendant, Technical Officer, etc.
  4. Using this list, make the Organizational Chart as described in the second bullet point. In the right-hand column also an example of this chart is added which you can use for making your own chart. In the chart every section of the laboratory must be clearly distinguishable, including its relation to other positions in the hierarchy. The persons responsible for the quality (the Quality Project Team and Quality Focal Point) should not be held accountable for the functioning of the laboratory and quality management system in particular. As such they should not be in a position that has authority over other positions: they only monitor the functioning of the quality management system and provide this information to the Laboratory Manager who, based on this information, can assign tasks to staff members to direct quality management system implementation. Therefore the persons responsible for the quality management system are in an advisory position (see the template organizational chart provided in the right-hand column). When advisory positions are held accountable for the performance of the subject they provide advice on, they may be restrained from providing information to the Laboratory Manager when the performance is poor because they fear consequences for their employment.
  5. Make a short description (300 words) of each position: what is the core function and what are the responsibilities?
  6. List for each position the names of the staff members in that position. Indicate for each key position who can replace him/her when absent. See for an illustration the Example Organizational Chart B provided in the right-hand column.
  7. If an Organizational Chart for the total organization (described at the first bullet point above) was made, this chart must be reviewed, signed and dated by the management of the total organization (e.g. hospital management).
  8. Sign and date the Organizational Chart showing the organization of positions in the laboratory itself.
  9. In phase 3 the Quality Manual will be developed. The Organizational Charts will be part of the Quality Manual. Until then, store the Organizational Charts in a new folder entitled "Organization". This folder must be accessible to all staff members.

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This activity belongs to the QSE Organization
ISO15189:2007: 4.1.5 5.1.1