Create a personnel replacement matrix


It is important that work can always be performed; it should never be hampered due to absence of staff. Assuring continuity in the work contributes to assuring adherence to the turnaround times of examinations.


Create a personnel replacement matrix. This is a matrix with the names of all the staff members. Next to each name the names of one or two other staff members are given that can take over the work of the first staff member when he/she is absent.

When a staff member is ill the laboratory manager can consult the personnel replacement matrix to see which staff member(s) should take over the tasks of the absent staff member (more than one staff member can replace the absent staff member for different tasks). It is important that the competency of the replacing staff members is tested for the tasks they need to take over from the absent staff member, and that they perform the tasks for a minimal number of times per year to remain competent. How high this number is needs to be defined by the laboratory itself and depends on the complicatedness of each task.

How & who

Laboratory Manager:

  1. List the names of all staff members. You could use the template personnel replacement matrix provided in the right-hand column.
  2. Decide for each staff member who can replace him/her in case of absence. Determine if it is necessary to appoint more than one staff member to take over the work. In this case, specify for each replacing staff member which tasks he/she should take over from the absent staff member in his/her Personal Job Description. Do this using the Authorization Matrix. Only a staff member that is authorized to perform the tasks of the absent staff member can replace him/her.
  3. Store the document in the folder Organization. You should also place a copy at a location that is visible for all staff members such as a noticeboard.
  4. Present the personnel replacement matrix at a weekly staff meeting.
  5. In competency testing you must also include the tasks a staff member must take over from absent staff members.
  6. Make sure that a staff member performs tasks he/she needs to take over from absent staff members at least a minimum number of times per year.

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This activity belongs to the QSE Personnel
ISO15189:2007: 4.1.5 5.1.5 5.1.7