ISO 9001 Planned Changes

Many of our clients have implemented ISO 9001 to ensure they continue to meet the growing demands of clients who require ISO 9001 as part of the supplier approval process. Over the last few years ISo 9001 has been under revision with the new title ISO 9001:2015. The scheduled publication date is September 2015. The idea is that the overhaul of the system will address challenges that will enable the management system to take us  through to the 2020’s without further changes.

The key objectives of ISO 9001:2015 draft design specification includes recommendations to:

  • Provide a stable core set of requirements for the next 10 years or more
  • Maintain the current focus on effective process management to produce desired outcomes
  • Take account of changes in quality management systems practices and technology
  • Apply changes to enhance compatibility and alignment with other ISO management system standards e.g. ISO 14001
  • Facilitate effective implementation and conformity assessment by first, second and third parties
  • Use simplified language and writing styles to aid understanding and consistent interpretations of its requirements.

These objectives have lead to the following proposals for the standard:

  • Integration of ‘risk-based thinking’
  • More emphasis on the eight Quality Management Principles (QMP’s)
  • Better alignment with business management processes
  • ‘Output matters’ (product conformity and process effectiveness)
  • Knowledge management
  • Life cycle management (LCM)
  • Improvement and innovation
  • Time/Speed/Agility’
  • Technology and changes in IT e.g. electronic records
  • Incorporation of ‘Quality Tools’ like 6σ, QFD, benchmarking etc.

I see these changes as a great positive and should, if done correctly, provide a management system which will continue to add value to businesses. I am particularly keen on three elements;  alignment with other standards, the move towards a risk based approach and the role of IT in the processes. These will reflect in potential streamlining of processes and reduce paperwork. In addition to this it will allow for better integrated management systems where clients have taken the next steps and implemented ISO 14001 & OHSAS 18001 (soon to be ISO 45001). I for one am therefore excitied by the changes and await to update you further when we see the final version next year!