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A journalist with 13 years of experience on trade publications covering construction, local government, property, pubs, and transport.
November 3, 2017

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International standards

Time ‘running out’ for ISO 9001:2015 transition

Time is running out to transition existing ISO 9001:2008 quality management certifications to the new 9001:2015 version, it has been warned.

Inspection, verification, testing and certification firm, SGS, has said existing holders need to start the transition to the new 9001:2015 version of the quality management standard to ensure continuity throughout their certification service as the deadline approaches.

The current ISO 9001:2008 standard will cease to apply from the middle of September 2018 and holders that do not transition to the new standard will no longer be certified.

Cutting things fine

Paul Stock, ISO 9001 product manager at SGS, warned that organisations that have not begun the transition process are “cutting things fine”.

He said: “Our advice is, most importantly, for businesses to get a copy of the new standard, read it and understand it.

“We expect great demand for certification as we get closer to the deadline, so it’s important that they get in touch with their certification body. They are the best people to talk to with regard to handling the transition.”

New features

The updated 9001:2015 quality management system (QMS) certification has introduced new key features, and has been designed to benefit all business – irrespective of industry.

The evolution of how businesses work, their processes and their concepts have all impacted upon the updated standard. This includes an increased use of social media, e-commerce and new business technology.

Periodically, the International Organisation for Standardisation reviews all ISOs to ensure their validity to current business needs and 2015 saw the latest release of ISO 9001.

Previous reviews took place in 2000 and in 2008 where changes were minimal. The new 2015 standard has 15 years of innovation in business practices to consider and reflect. It is because of this that the 2015 certification has introduced some core changes, bringing it closer to contemporary business concepts and terminologies.

Senior management

One of the most significant changes to the standard’s requirements is the emphasis placed on senior management and leadership engagement.

Business leaders must now be able to demonstrate a greater commitment to, and direct involvement in, their company’s QMS.

A major focus has also been given to risk and opportunity. The element of risk has always featured in the standard, but the new structured approach to the process will help companies to identify and take actions in a more effective and efficient manner.

Increases customer trust

According to Stock, the new standard will ‘increase customer trust’ in a firm’s processes and services – as well as  “demonstrate to suppliers that a business delivers a consistently high standard of service”.

He also said that compliance was not ‘as complex as businesses may think’ for SMEs.

He said: “Many of the early adopters have signalled their satisfaction on how the  standard has enhanced their business’s strategic direction.”

 

 

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