Top 5 changes for ISO 9001:2015

ISO 9001:2015 brings a significant change of emphasis in requirements for quality management systems. If you haven’t yet looked into what's new for ISO 9001:2015, here is a very brief introduction to 5 the most important changes it brings, and the reasons behind them.

If you haven’t yet looked into the new ISO 9001:2015, here is a very brief introduction to the reasons behind the changes, and what many consider to be the most important ones:

5 Reasons why

  1. To better reflect current managements systems thinking – such as increased emphasis on process and risk management.
  2. To better facilitate integrated systems e.g. covering quality, health & safety, environment etc.
  3. To improve relevance to service industries
  4. To improve relevance to diverse business models (e.g. online business, virtual offices etc.)
  5. To address the increasing complexity of business environment

Now we know the drivers for changes, let’s take a look at the changes themselves.

 The Top 5 changes for ISO 9001:2015

  1. Less emphasis on documentation. There are no longer requirements for a quality manual and documented procedures. That doesn’t mean you can’t have them – you just don’t have to. Requirements for documentation are greatly reduced, with greater emphasis being placed in other elements of management systems.
  2. Risk-based thinking. There are requirements for consideration of risk and opportunities throughout the new standard. While the text of the 2008 edition did not mention risk, it’s now mentioned 4over 40 times – a clear indication of the importance attached to it.
  3. More explicit requirements for the process approach to quality management. Although the current standard referred to the process approach, much more specific requirements are introduced to demonstrate how that is applied.
  4. Enhanced requirements for “Leadership” from top management. It will no longer be acceptable for top management to appoint a representative and leave all Quality matters up to them. There are new requirements for leadership to be actively demonstrated.
  5. A new high-level clause structure and changes in terminology. These will be common to those being introduced across all management system standards. This particular change will be most significant to those seeking to address multiple standards in an integrated system.

There are plenty of other changes, such as expanded requirements for quality objectives, and care of property belonging to suppliers. However, the Top 5 changes above are what we consider most significant. What’s your view?

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