Policy support

Management anchoring of the quality management system

AGRO mainly provides advice within the Plant Production performance contract and in a contract for the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (MST) related to pesticide use. The overall responsibility lies with the head of the department (Jørgen E. Olesen) and with the action coordinators for the individual areas:

  • Plant breeding and pollination, Plant health aspects and Plant protection and IPM (Mogens Nicolaisen)
  • Climate-smart production systems (Mathias N. Andersen)
  • Fertilisers, normals and nitrogen forecasting (Jørgen Eriksen)
  • Soil and soil conditions, including digital maps and image analysis (Mogens H. Greve)
  • Green conversion and biomass (Tommy Dalgaard)
  • Targeted area regulation and instruments (Jørgen Eriksen)
  • MST. Efficiency assessments in pesticide application (Per Kudsk)

All action coordinators are section heads and thus part of the departmental management. Issues concerning the organisation of the regulatory tasks are discussed at meetings of the Department Management, which also acts as the Department's Policy Support Committee.

Distribution of tasks and responsibilities

Head of Department:

  • The Head of Quality of the department will ensure that the coordinators and supervisors are aware of their responsibilities and tasks in relation to the resolution and quality assurance of regulatory tasks.
  • Determines the annual budget allocation for regulatory advice.
  • Negotiates with the Ministry on the tasks for the coming year.
  • Approves budgets for the areas of activity.
  • Ensures that the department has the appropriate capacity and research capability in key areas with a high number of advisory tasks to ensure the highest possible quality and synergy. In addition, the Head of Department helps to ensure that other relevant departments are involved in the tasks.

Tasks of coordinators/section heads:

  • Ensure that the tasks of the research area are allocated to qualified staff and ensure that staff have the necessary time to carry out the task.
  • Ensure that lead persons/project managers are able to complete tasks on time and within budget by contributing to the alignment of expectations between the contact person, the ministry and the project manager.
  • Contribute to ensuring that other relevant departments are involved in the tasks. This is done, inter alia, by requiring the coordinator/section head to approve the project team before work starts.
  • Ensuring, together with the lead partner/project manager, that time is allocated for quality assurance and discussing the possibility of publication, etc. Ensuring that the Section's agreements and contractual obligations, including regulatory advice, are respected and delivered on time with the agreed quality.
  • Assist the Project Manager in taking decisions related to the execution of tasks.
  • Ensure that the technical review process is carried out correctly.
  • Discuss recruitment of necessary staff with the Head of Department.
  • Coordinate and provide input to mid-year and full-year reports to the Ministry.
  • Provide input to dialogue meetings with the Ministry on future trends in the field that may attract political attention.

Project manager/co-manager:

  • Define the task in dialogue with the Ministry and involve the action coordinator and section head if necessary.
  • Depending on the scope of the task, which may be:
  • Ongoing advice
  • Short response with short time horizon
  • Larger tasks with a longer time horizon: proposal for staffing and possibly project description.
  • Management of specific regulatory task through task management including agreements with project team on implementation, quality assurance and timely completion.

Coordination and organisation
For the Plant Agreement, monthly meetings are held between action coordinators and the DCA responsible for the plant area. At these meetings, recently completed, ongoing and anticipated tasks are reviewed and potential problems with staffing or delays are discussed. Resourcing of tasks is the responsibility of the Head of Department, but is discussed with the task leaders and the action coordinators. This includes issues of particular workload for key staff, which are also discussed at these meetings.

For the agreement with MST, monthly internal coordination meetings are held with the staff involved. The secretariat function for this is located at AGRO, but there is a need to clarify how this is embedded in relation to the quality assurance system at DCA. However, the quality assurance system is also followed here in the same way as for the other agreements.

Proposals for staffing of commissioned tasks are normally proposed by the lead partner assigned to the task in advance. Staffing of the task and of the peer assessor must be approved by the intervention coordinator before the task is launched. This also applies to the timetable. A procedure is now also put in place whereby the coordinator must approve that the process has met the peer review criteria (professional and technical) before the assignment can be handed in.

In case of conflicts across departments, it will typically be up to a dialogue between the department heads involved. Experience shows that early awareness of issues leads to the most painless resolution of problems. Cross-departmental issues are therefore given special attention at the monthly meetings with the DCA on the Plant Agreement. Bi-monthly meetings are held with department heads across DCA and DCE to coordinate and prevent problems.

At AGRO, there is a particular problem in tasks led by DCE or GEUS and anchored in specific contracts, where individual staff members at AGRO are involved. These tasks are not directly anchored in the management via the response coordinators. There is also no systematic inventory of the scope and content of these tasks in relation to the departmental management. A dialogue has therefore been initiated with DCA and DCE on how to ensure that these tasks are recorded in the future and how they can be integrated into the ongoing monitoring of the quality side.

Read more about regulatory support on the Technical Sciences website

Authority services in Technical Sciences have also been ISO 9001 certified 

Read more about the policy support at Technical Sciences' website

The policy support in Technical Sciences have also been  ISO 9001-certificeret