ISO 9001:2015 Leadership



The 2015 version of ISO 9001 is due to be published at the end of next year. Whilst the changes won’t turn the world upside down for those with the standard already in place, a challenge will be demonstrating that senior management are fully involved.

In the released draft standard, ‘Management responsibility’ has been replaced with ‘Leadership’, repositioning a number of ISO 9001:2008 requirements as leadership activities, of which some can’t be delegated.

ISO 9001 has had its detractors, due to some simply throwing the standard on the lap of someone in the office, putting responsibility solely on them. Not only does this hinder buy-in, because that person may not particularly motivated or influential enough to implement the standard successfully, the potential benefits are not realised as a result.

Expectations of the 2015 version include:

  • Taking accountability for the effectiveness of the organisation’s QMS
  • Ensuring the quality policy and quality objectives are consistent with the organisation’s overall strategic direction
  • Working alongside your people in order to ensure that the quality objectives are achieved
  • Ensuring that the quality policy is communicated, understood and applied across the organisation
  • Ensure QMS requirements are integral to the organisation’s business processes
  • Promote awareness and the adoption of the ‘process approach
  • Ensure resources required for the effective operation of the QMS are made available
  • Stress the importance of effective quality management and of conforming to the requirements of the QMS
  • Make sure that the QMS is achieving the results intended and lead people to contribute to the effective operation of the system
  • Drive continual improvement and innovation
  • Develop leadership in managers

With any initiative, you cannot expect it to succeed without buy-in from the whole team; the more you put in, the more you get out. Leadership requirements will be consistent across all of ISO’s management standards as they are revised into the future, helping to demonstrate that certification is a clear sign of an organisation meeting international best practice.

As shown in our recent Client Satisfaction Survey, ISO 9001 provides a model to become more efficient and organised. By showing they’re better performers than the competition, this has gone on to help many of our clients win new business too. Those who take on ISO 9001:2015 in the right spirit will continue to show they are a cut above the rest.

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