Over one million organizations in 176 countries have implemented ISO 9001:2008, leaving no doubt that ISO 9001 is the preferred global standard for quality management. And rightly so: the standard brings together years of expertise and best practices, creating added value for any type of organization.
Nevertheless, a brief look at the history of ISO 9001 reveals that an update is much needed. The last major revision of the standard dates back to the year 2000. Given that in 2008 only minor amendments were made, the current standard does not consistently reflect the advances of the past decade.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has been preparing an overhaul, and the Committee Draft is now available for evaluation. DQS Lebanon is keeping a close eye on these developments, and would like to outline some of the interesting changes in the new draft.
Based on the draft, it seems safe to conclude that the changes to the existing standard will be much more substantial than in 2008. This is already visible in the structure itself: the new standard will adopt the so-called high-level structure, a general structure used for the development of all new ISO standards. This structure also comes with a unified terminology, and will considerably facilitate the integration of the different ISO standards.
Second, the standard has been redrafted in order to increase the clarity and accessibility, and to reduce room for interpretation. The authors have also consistently replaced the word “product” with “goods and services”, in order to remove the existing bias towards companies that deal with physical products. As a result, the standard will be applicable for organizations of every kind.
One element that is conspicuous by its absence in the new document is the requirements for preventive action. As ISO explains, this is because the prevention of nonconformity is the task of the quality management system in its entirety, as opposed to a specific subsection of it. It remains to be seen, however, whether this change will make it into the final version.
ISO 9001:2015 is now in the Committee Draft stage, and the ISO welcomes comments and feedback from the public. Based on these comments, and after the draft passes two voting procedures, the final text will presumably be published in the second half of 2015.
In order to guarantee a smooth transition to the new standard, or to start the implementation of a quality management system, DQS Lebanon will offer workshops to prepare companies and organizations for these challenges. The workshops will take place from autumn 2013 onwards. Contact us for more information.
Comparison between ISO 9001:2008 and 2015
DQS Lebanon has prepared a tentative comparison of the two versions ISO 9001:2008 and the current DIS issue of ISO 9001:2015. Feel free to download the document here.