ISO 9001:2015 Moves Forward

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In January 2013 we announced that ISO were revising their most well known standard – ISO 9001 – with an anticipated launch date of September 2015. We are now approaching the last leg of the revision’s development as it has been announced that, following a recent vote, the ISO subcommittee responsible for ISO 9001:2015 can now move to publication of the Final Draft Standard.

Whether the standard will be ready for next September is unclear, but there has been confirmation from ISO that ISO 9001:2015 is still “expected in 2015.” Furthermore, Nigel Croft, Chair of the ISO subcommittee revising the standard, has said “We are on the right track, and we are on schedule for publication.”

During November, a meeting was held in Galway, Ireland to go through the thousands of comments on the Draft Standard. Before the Final Draft is ready, there will be another meeting in February next year. As such, do not expect to see the Final Draft before March 2015.

For those with certification to the existing ISO 9001:2008 standard, there will be 3 years to make the transition to the new version. Following a meeting this month, the ISO subcommittee will now spend the next few months reviewing submitted comments so they can propose the Final Draft.

What will change in ISO 9001:2015?

Familiar concepts such as the process approach first seen in ISO 9001:2000 remain. The Plan-Do-Check-Act methodology also stays, where organisations need to constantly aim to continuously improve both individual processes and ensure that they collectively work well together.

More than ever, the intention of the ISO 9001 Quality Management System (QMS) standard is for it to be woven into the strategic fabric of the organisation. To help this happen, ISO 9001:2015 expects more leadership involvement in order to gain better engagement and ongoing drive for continual improvement.

ISO 9001:2015 will also have a new overall focus on risk-based thinking; aiming at preventing undesirable outcomes before they happen.

For those who already have an effective QMS in place, the new requirements should not be a cause of concern. The challenge will be for organisations that operate their QMS for the sake of having a certificate, as they may struggle to demonstrate strong involvement from their management.

What should clients do?

Once the Final Draft Standard is published in early 2015, the British Assessment Bureau’s compliance team will be creating transition guidelines.  We will then plan to take clients – with their agreement – through ISO 9001:2015 at their Surveillance Audit shortly after the new standard is published. Potentially then, clients with an expiry date towards the end of 2015 could be transitioning to the ISO 9001:2015 version.


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