ISO revise their Standards every 6 to 8 years. The Standards for Quality and Environment Management Systems have been revised recently by 2015 versions and replace their previous versions of 2008 and 2000 respectively. All organizations bearing ISO certification are required to upgrade their certificates to comply with the updated requirements. ISO allows 3 years for all companies to upgrade their management systems to the new standard, meaning that the Standards ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 (though published by SAI-Global in January 2016 in Australia and hence known as 2016 Standards) came into force in September 2018. Safety Standards AS 4801 and OHSAS 18001 were replaced in Australia by ISO 45001 in 2018 to be in line with the Quality and Environment Standards.
Apart from quite a few normative definition changes, the new Standards bring the processes that are critical to businesses in their survival and growth into focus with a greater emphasis on strategic planning and risk-based thinking. Both Standards besides introducing dramatic changes in the structure and outlook are standardised with 10 clauses each. The Standard ISO 9001:2015 has also deleted the provision of “exclusions” and made clauses like design and development a comprehensive part of the Standard. Salient changes incorporated in the proposed new Standard ISO 9001:2015 include:
- Feature 10 clauses postulating common terminology applies to all Management Systems such as ISO 14001 and ISO 45001.
- Greater emphasis on understanding the organization and its context together with the needs and expectations of interested parties.
- Greater emphasis on top management engagement.
- Greater emphasis on Performance and evaluation
- Increased emphasis on ‘determining’ – organizations would have to consider how they can provide evidence that a process of determination took place resulting in the achieved output.
- Nil exclusions, unlike the previous Standards.
- Introduced clause based on knowledge.
- Introduced actions to address risks and opportunities in several clauses including operational planning, input for design and development, post-delivery, customer focus, etc. This addresses business continuity in a way and leads to the company policies and objectives achieving the intended results.
- Introduced control of externally provided products and services.
On the whole, there is a major departure in the structure, content, and expectations of the standard from previous versions and appears yet another reason for businesses to seek services of mature and business-oriented personnel/consultants to steer their Quality Management Systems.