ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System

Benefits of Quality Management Systems

ISO 9001 is one of the widely-used quality system standards in the world.  In order to keep its effectiveness and reliability to the market, it is currently being revised by a group of experts referred to as the technical committee.  ISO 9001:2015 aims to respond to the latest developments and be a workable match to other management systems like ISO 14001.  The new version is said to have taken great consideration of customers’ quality expectations relating to the entire supply chain. It also intends to increase the impact and benefits of Quality Management Systems on various organizations.

ISO 9001:2015 is now at the fourth stage of revision. The fourth stage of the ISO publication process or the Draft International Standard phase (DIS) is very important because this is the period wherein feedback is gathered and extensive discussions among the technical committee members take place.  It was on May 2014 when the DIS revision of ISO 9001:2015 was officially issued for vote.  The next stage after that is the Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) that is expected to happen on November 2014.

Affected companies that hold ISO 9001 certification are given three years to efficiently introduce and adopt the new requirements or prerequisites included in the updated version of the standard.   The transition period will begin right after publication which will occur towards the end of next year.  Hopefully by September 2015 publication is achieved.  And even though the final release will not be exactly like the DIS, no major alterations are expected.

Different Structure For ISO 9001:2015

While the previous ISO 9001 quality management system uses a similar structure across the board, there are additional sections in the updated version. ISO 9001: 2008 uses five structures in quality management while the 2015 option uses seven sections. The additional sections incorporated into 2015 are due to the use of the Annex SL Template. This is now the default management system standard of the ISO 9001 system. Adding additional sections makes monitoring performance and management much easier as less information is placed into each section, allowing for clearer and concise documentation. Having a standard template across all ISO standards also makes it easier to integrate multiple standards.

Different Context For ISO 9001:2015

This is another area where the two ISO 9001 platforms differ slightly. In the earlier QMS, it offered users the ability to create specific context for the business regarding both the internal and external issues of the company. However, this has changed with the ISO 9001: 2015 release. The new standard is not simply used to create context for management, but to help the business understand the context. By monitoring the internal, external values, goals and other variables of the business, it allows a company to both track changes and also understand why these changes are happening. With the added understanding factor into the QMS, companies will have a better understanding of how their business can comply with the standard instead of trying to organize their business to a standardized form in the previous standard. This will allow easier transition to ISO certification for all business types.

Risk Based Thinking

While risk based thinking has always been in the ISO standards, there has been an increase with the ISO 9001:2015 release. This puts a clearer focus on identifying, preventing, and correcting risks to maintaining a compliant product and an effective QMS. The term preventive action has been replaced with “risk based thinking” as it is redundant to have both.

QMS Terms Changes

Several terms have changed in the ISO 9001:2015 version to provide better clarity or to improve inclusiveness. In the 2008 version “products” included both products and services but in the new standard “products” and “services” are now separate and used throughout the standard as types of outputs. The term “customer property” has been expanded from its use in the previous version to now include any product, service or process belonging to all types of external providers. The term “monitoring and measuring equipment” has been replaced with “monitoring and measuring resources” as it is allows for measurement methods that do not require equipment.

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