Transitioning to ISO 9001:2015: three reasons not to wait

ISO 9001 was recently updated for 2015 to maintain its effectiveness in today’s marketplace, and to continue to offer organisations improved performance and business benefits.

Organisations have just over two years to transition to the latest version (the deadline is September 2018) if they want to maintain their ISO 9001 certification. You could delay it, but here’s why I would recommend any company transition sooner rather than later:

  1. The 2015 version of the Standard is much less prescriptive than the 2008 version and can be used as an agile business improvement tool, so you can make it relevant to your organisation’s requirements.
  2. It will also bring quality management and continual improvement into the heart of the organisation, helping to enhance and monitor the performance of your business. Management systems are also now much easier to integrate, supporting a single business managements system. This can incorporate ISO 9001 quality, ISO 27001 information security, ISO 14001 environmental and, later this year, ISO 45001 health and safety management systems following the same Annex SL structure. The multiple management systems can amalgamate into one integrated management system that is easier to manage and maintain.
  3. Finally, and most importantly, it is a perfect chance to review your current quality management system (QMS) from top to bottom – Do we need that? Is there value in that? Is this working for us? Is ISO 9001 just a tick-box for us?

Interesting fact: ISO 9001:2015 now offers the opportunity for an integrated management system that addresses other business elements such as information security, business continuity, environment, etc.

Although you’ve maintained the QMS since you implemented it, chances are that you haven’t looked at it holistically in a number of years. No matter what company you work for, business and departments change over the years (downsizing, upsizing, etc.). Do your departments still ‘talk’ to each other? Have their processes changed? Is there still value in doing things like that? Are the processes efficient and effective?

Useful resources:

ISO 9001:2015 – the official standard

ISO 9001:2015 QMS Documentation Toolkit

ISO 9001 2008 to ISO 9001 2015 Conversion Tool