Quality – ISO 9001

What is ISO9001

ISO 9001 is the world’s foremost recognised quality management standard. With over 1,000,000 certifications in over 170 countries, it is the most recognised quality management standard in the world.

ISO9001 sets out the essential requirements for a practical and effective quality management system (QMS) which is, in essence, a system for minimizing risk and maximizing opportunity.

Among the many benefits of ISO 9001, the Standard helps organizations to improve customer satisfaction levels, internal efficiency and employee involvement.

Who uses ISO 9001?

ISO 9001 is applicable to all organisations from service to manufacturing and from sole traders to large multi-nationals.

Why implement ISO9001?
Implementing a certified quality management system provides a range of benefits including:

  • provides for clearly defined operational processes for staff, operations, communication etc.
  • provides a framework for increased efficiency and continuous improvement
  • potential direct reduction in the cost of scrap and rework
  • increased competitiveness among industry rivals
  • meets the requirements for public and private tenders

Is it compatible with other standards?

Based on a structure called Annex SL, ISO9001:2015 is fully compatible with ISO14001 (environmental management) and ISO45001 (the replacement for OHSAS18001). What this means is that 3 systems can be seamlessly implemented together into a single integrated management system. Similarly, ISO14001 or ISO45001 can be easily integrated into an existing ISO9001 QMS.

Key Principles

ISO 9001 sets out seven key principles of quality management:

  • Customer focus
  • Leadership
  • Engagement of people
  • Process approach
  • Improvement
  • Evidence based decision making
  • Relationship management

Process approach

ISO 9001 is based on the PDCA cycle – Plan-Do-Check-Act – and its key elements are:

  • Establish and document the quality management system
  • Implement and maintain the QMS
  • Monitor and measure the outputs from the QMS and its processes
  • Review and analyse these results
  • Identify areas for improvement
  • Implement improvement programmes

Risk based thinking

The concept of “risk-based thinking” is prevalent throughout the ISO90012015 standard. The standard requires that companies:

  • Identify all potential risks that could impact the effectiveness of the QMS
  • Assess these risks
  • Determine if the risks are acceptable
  • If the company feels the risks need to be reduced, implement improvement programmes

Replacing “preventive action” from previous versions of ISO9001, risk based thinking is a practical and sensible approach to ensuring in so far as possible, that companies are prepared for adverse scenarios and prevent negative effects.

Transition Policy for ISO 9001:2015

Following publication of ISO9001:2015 and ISO14001:2015, there will be a 3-year period of co-existence for ISO9001:2008/ISO9001:2015 and ISO14001:2004/ISO14001:2015. During this period of co-existence (up to September 15th, 2018) new and existing clients can be audited and certified as follows:

  • New clients opting for certification to ISO9001:2015 and/or ISO14001:2015 during this period will be issued with 3-year certificates following a successful audit.
  • New clients opting for certification to ISO9001:2008 and/or ISO14001:2004 may only do so up to March 15th, 2018. All certificates issued during this period up to March 2018 will have an expiry date of September 15, 2018, regardless of the date of certification. In order to maintain certification after September 15th, 2018, clients will be required to undergo certification audits to ISO9001:2015 and/or ISO14001:2015, regardless of the date of their previous audit.
  • Already certified clients wishing to gain certification to ISO9001:2015 and/or ISO14001:2015 during this period will undergo certification audits to ISO9001:2015 and/or ISO14001:2015, regardless of their existing certification cycle. Following the certification audit, successful clients will be issued with new 3-year certificates.
  • Already certified clients wishing to remain certified to ISO9001:2008 and/or ISO14001:2004 during the period of co-existence may do so, followed by certification audits to ISO14001:2015 prior to September 2018. However, already certified clients who have surveillance or recertification dates after March 15th, 2018 will be required to undergo recertification audits to ISO9001:2015 and/or ISO14001:2015.