Today, 12th November 2015, marks ‘World Quality Day’, and we take this opportunity to look back over the past twelve months, in particular at how the ISO 9001 standard has adapted to remain at the forefront of quality management best practice.
World Quality Day is an ideal opportunity to reinforce the importance of quality in your organisation and get people involved. With ISO 9001 ultimately about ensuring you meet and exceed customer expectations, having a day dedicated to collaborating on new ideas and questioning the status quo could lead to improvements to your service that would have never been possible without a team get-together.
Quality may not be instantly recognised as an exciting subject matter, but any business desires to be innovative, efficient and customer service orientated – the outcomes for those who implement the ISO 9001 standard in the right spirit. Whilst the input may not be exciting, the results certainly are, with many citing ISO 9001 helps them to retain existing accounts, win new contracts and save money running their businesses. Aren’t those stories worth shouting about?
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The arrival of a new ISO 9001
In a fast changing world however, ISO 9001 has had to keep up-to-date with the needs of its users. Almost 30 years since the standard was published, well over a million organisations around the world have achieved certification to the standard. Over the years, it has been changed and tweaked to make it a universal quality management framework for organisations of all shapes and sizes. The latest 2015 version published this September was hailed as a new model for the next 25 years, boasting updated requirements and also heightened compatibility with other ISO management standards thanks to a shared structure.
The biggest change in the newly revised ISO 9001: 2015 is the adoption of risk based thinking, encouraging organisations to consider potential risks to what they deliver and associated contingency measures.
There was also an appreciation that ISO 9001 can only be effectively implemented with the support of the organisation’s leaders. In the 2015, there are now stricter requirements to ensure the leadership team are more involved to ensure the standard’s goals are integrated into the strategy.
Still recognised as global best practice
Recently, ISO published results of a survey providing figures of adoption to various ISO management standards. It showed that adoption of ISO 9001 has been consistent for over 5 years now, with the UK being in the top 5 countries for those with certification.
This is largely driven by ISO 9001 being widely stipulated in tender situations, with data from our own customer survey showing that 31% had qualified for or won business thanks to their certification.
With the public sector under pressure to cut costs more than ever, requesting organisations to have various internationally-recognised certifications and accreditations helps cut the costs of procurement. With the new and improved ISO 9001:2015 now launched, the likelihood is certification to the standard will be key for UK businesses for years to come.