Happy Birthday ISO 9001

This month celebrates the 1st birthday of the revised ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 standards, how time flies when you’re having fun!

As we are 1 year into the 3 year transition period, we thought that we would take a look at what has happened in the last year and see what the future holds.

Some of you will have transitioned to the updated standards already, but history shows us that a large number of organisations leave it until the end of the 3 year period. If we look at ISO 9001 specifically, the last major change to the standard was in 2000 (2008 was only minor). After the 2000 standard was published there was significant drop in the number of companies registering (including transitioning), then a massive surge towards the end of the transition deadline. As a consequence many companies ended up losing their ISO 9001 certificate as the certification bodies were so swamped with audits that some could not be fitted in before the deadline. If these companies needed their ISO certificate to satisfy customer contracts then this may have presented a problem.

From talking to clients over the last 12 months the biggest issue they have faced are the changes to the leadership requirements. To help our clients we have created a short video explaining these changes. If you are struggling to get top management to understand the new leadership requirements (or maybe you do not know the requirements yourself), ask them to spare 7 minutes of their day to watch the video (we promise it’s not boring!)


Not transitioned yet? Start now before it’s too late!

The key to a smooth transition is having a good ISO 9001:2008 system in the first place – if your system is weak to start with you have a greater uphill struggle. The actual changes in the ISO 9001:2016 standard are not as big as some will try to make you believe, but it is very important that you make these changes to your systems in a positive way. You should take the opportunity to iron out any wrinkles in your current processes and procedures.

Even if you haven’t started your transition yet, hopefully you have a plan in place to help make the process as smooth as possible (remember the deadline is September 2018).

Your plan should include (but not restricted to):

  • Is everyone involved in the management system familiar with the new requirements? Depending on the size of your organisation, have you conducted a gap analysis?
  • Have you prepared a plan for how and who will be modifying the existing systems, including reasonable timescales and deadlines?
  • Have you got a commitment from top management that they understand their new obligations and know what evidence they can show that they are meeting them?
  • Have you got auditors (including internal, supplier and external) that are competent and skilled to audit the new requirements (especially auditing top management)?
  • If you have other systems (e.g. ISO 14001, AS9100, TS 16949) have you considered the integration between them?

A successful and effective transition to either ISO 9001:2015 or ISO 14001:2015 should help everyone from your colleagues, shareholders, clients and the environment around us.

If you need help transitioning to the updated standards we offer everything from auditor transition training, top management briefings, implementation workshops and consultancy support.