The ISO 9001 standard is a set of requirements for a so-called "quality management system" - an integrated approach to operating a company (or other organization) with the aim of achieving high customer satisfaction and efficiency. Companies that have successfully implemented an ISO 9001 quality management system may have the functioning of their ISO 9001 quality management system certified; this certification is commonly referred to as "ISO 9001 certification".
The ISO 9001 family of standards is reviewed and revised by its publisher (the International Organization for Standardization "ISO") approximately every 7 - 8 years. The latest revision was published on September 23, 2015; it is called ISO 9001:2015 (the ":2015" indicates the year of revision).
Each revision of the ISO 9001 standard may introduce new or changed requirements and/or a different structure of the standard; in some cases, only the wording is changed for the sake of clarity.
Previous versions of the ISO 9001 standard are: ISO 9001:1994 (along with ISO 9002 and ISO 9003), ISO 9001:2000, and ISO 9001:2008. The 1994 and 2000 versions are obsolete and certifications are no longer valid; ISO 9001:2008 certifications remain valid till September 2018.
ISO 9001:2015 is the newest revision of the ISO 9001 standard. However, ISO 9001:2015 remains still valid and applicable along with ISO 9001:2015..
With the publication of ISO 9001:2015 on September 23, 2015, a 3-year overlapping transition period started. During those three years, both revisions of ISO 9001 are valid. While in the beginning of the transition period, the focus remained on ISO 9001:2008, by now all new certifications are ISO 9001:2015 certifications. By September 2018, all existing ISO 9001:2008 certifications are supposed to have transitioned to ISO 9001:2015.
Here is a summary of the changes in the ISO 9001:2015 standard compared to ISO 9001:2008:
ISO 9001:2015 is based on a new high-level framework that will be common to all ISO management systems standards. The purpose is to simplify the integration of ISO 9001 with other management standards (for example, ISO 14001) and with existing business practices. The new framework lead to a change in the structure of the ISO 9001 standard (see below) and a change of wording (for example, the term "product" has been replaced by "goods and services" to make it clearer and easier for service providers.
The requirements of ISO 9001:2015 are structured as follows:
section 4: Context of the organization
section 5: Leadership
section 6: Planning
section 7: Support
section 8: Operation
section 9: Performance evaluation
section 10: Improvement
The most important of the new requirements in ISO 9001:2015 is the focus on risk management. While previous versions had a section on preventive action, the new 2015 version expands upon preventive action to create a complete section on risk management. This new requirement will be of great value for many small businesses that had previously not properly managed the internal and external risks to their very existence.
With the 2015 version, top management gets more involved in ISO 9001. To prevent misunderstandings right away, this DOES NOT mean that top management has to engage in any bureaucratic paperwork or operational issues; it DOES mean that top management uses ISO 9001 as a valuable tool to manage the business. Areas that some top management may have paid insufficient attention to in the past must now be addressed by top management in order to be an ISO 9001 certified business; these areas include top management's understanding of its overall market and business environment, as well as its internal strengths and weaknesses.
A somewhat smaller change is the increased focus on good communication within the company and with external parties, as well as the requirement for awareness (members of the company have to be aware of the consequences of their work or the failure of doing their work properly). Two new sections, 7.3 "Awareness" and 7.4 "Communication" are addressing those requirements.
Even more so than the 2015 version of ISO 9001, the 2015 version better clarifies existing requirements and their intent. For example, the requirements for quality objectives, measurement and change are more detailed. This is not a material change for 9001Simplified.com customers as we have been properly interpreting ISO 9001 requirements and intent, and our materials have reflected this.
In general, ISO 9001 will have a positive impact as it is clearer and better than the previous standard. Those unfortunate companies that have had a bureaucratic ISO 9001 system in place will benefit the most as the 2015 revision will further help them get rid of bureaucracy and busywork. 9001Simplified.com customers, on the other hand, who have always had the benefit of an efficient and lean ISO 9001 quality management system, will see fewer changes in operations and documentation.
If you are planning on getting ISO 9001 certified, you should do so as soon as possible. Don't delay enjoying the benefits of ISO 9001. We have excellent ISO 9001:2015 materials. Take a look at the ISO 9001:2015 Complete Package; it's a comprehensive ISO 9001 implementation kit.
Those that are already ISO 9001:2008 certified will have until September 2018 to update their ISO 9001 system and documentation to meet the new requirements of ISO 9001:2015. Your existing ISO 9001:2008 certification will remain valid during this transition period. Depending on your ISO 9001 registrar, the change to ISO 9001:2015 can probably be accomplished as part of a regular, scheduled surveillance audit.
If you implemented ISO 9001:2008 using our Complete Package, the update will be rather pain-free with our ISO 9001:2015 Upgrade - Complete Package.
ISO 9001:2015 was published on September 23, 2015 and supersedes ISO 9001:2008 (which was published in November 2008). ISO 9001:2008 will remain valid during the 3-year transition period until September 2018.
Existing ISO 9001:2008 certifications will remain valid until September 2018.
Companies that have been certified to ISO 9001:2008 can upgrade to ISO 9001:2015 after a successful re-certification (or an surveillance audit to ISO 9001:2015).
ISO 9001 will not be revised again until the year 2022 or later.
The 2015 revision brought some welcome changes in content and structure of the standard. The changes will affect companies with an inflexible and bureaucratic ISO 9001 system more; our own customers, on the other hand, have already benefited from an efficient and business-friendly ISO 9001 system and can expect some further improvements.
Companies that are planning on ISO 9001 certification should implement ISO 9001:2015 as soon as possible.
Companies with existing ISO 9001:2008 certification should start transitioning to ISO 9001:2015 now.
We have ISO 9001:2015 upgrade kits available to make the transition to ISO 9001:2015 easy.
We are monitoring changes to ISO 9001 requirements as well as the latest interpretations of the ISO 9001 standard, and we are reviewing and revising our ISO 9001 templates, forms and guides to ensure that they are always current and fully compliant with all ISO 9001 requirements worldwide, as well as with the accepted interpretations of ISO 9001.
Our customers are always a step ahead as our materials not only meet the written word of ISO 9001 but also its spirit. Much of the changes in ISO 9001:2015 are clarifications of the intent of the 2008 version. Our materials have already included the intent and spirit of the 2008 version.
All our ISO 9001 materials are applicable to all countries worldwide, including your country.