ISO 9001 is changing. Here’s what you need to know

Find out everything you need to know about the changes to ISO 9001.

What is ISO 9001?

ISO 9001 is a standard that sets out the requirements for a quality management system to help your business become more efficient and improve customer satisfaction.

A new version of the standard, ISO 9001:2015, has been launched, which will replace the previous version (ISO 9001:2008) by September 2018.

Why is it changing?

All ISO standards are reviewed every five years and revisions made if necessary to ensure that they remain useful and meet the needs of the ever-changing business world. The challenges business face change constantly, so the ISO 9001 standard has been updated to reflect this.

What are the changes?

The new version of ISO 9001 places a greater emphasis on considering risks and opportunities to your business as well as emphasising leadership. It looks at both internal and external influences in this context to support the development of a strategy to address and overcome these issues. It’s also much more user-friendly with simplified language and a common-sense structure and terms. This means it’ll be much more helpful if you use multiple standards across your business as it makes it easier to integrate.

What benefits will it offer my business?

It provides a great opportunity for you to review your quality management system, particularly with risk and change management in mind, and ensure that it’s aligned with the strategic priorities of your business. This can increase customer satisfaction, increase your profitability, help you to remain resilient and achieve sustainable growth.

What should I do?

Don’t panic! A good starting place is to familiarise yourself with Annex SL, the new high-level structure (HLS) that brings a common framework to all management system standards. In particular, review clauses four, five and six which address the context of your organisation, leadership and planning. It’s best to get started with your transition planning as soon as possible to pro-actively manage the process. If in doubt, seek support!

When’s the deadline?

There is a three-year transition period from the date of publication, September 2015 in this case, to upgrade. All certificates to the old standards will cease to be recognised after this date so if your business is currently certified to ISO 9001:2008 you’ll need to upgrade to the new requirements by September 2018.

We know that ISO, management systems and auditing can be daunting and time-consuming so please do get in touch for Absolute Quality advice.