ISO 9001 is changing. The last time these industrial and commercial standards were upgraded was 2008. That may not seem very long ago. But these standards are reviewed every five years to ensure their relevance in the marketplace. And we all know that a lot has happened in the past give years, especially in fields such as technology and business.
ISO standards are proprietary. They are developed and maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a non-governmental organization headquartered in Geneva. ISO has 164 national members out of a total of 206 total countries in the world (as of 7/30/2014). The standards ISO set by are voluntary. But over 1.2 million organizations are certified to ISO 9001 standards—and your company may be one of them.
If so, it’s important to keep track of upcoming changes. Or, if you are considering becoming ISO-certified, you need to weigh the benefits of compliance, since they are not simple, and can’t be done instantly.
However, the benefits of ISO certification are numerous, especially in today’s globalized economy. These standards ensure that products and services are of good quality, safe, and reliable. Many consider them strategic tools that can reduce waste and errors—therefore lower costs. The standards also help companies that want to enter new markets by leveling the playing field and making it clear the specifications a company must comply with when manufacturing. And finally, ISO standards have become market requirements in certain countries in areas such as quality management systems and freight container dimensions.
So, if you already ISO-certified—or considering it—be prepared. Here are further details on the new standards:
ISO 9001:2015 Revision: Official name of the new standard
- Draft International Standard (DIS) released May 2014
- Final Draft International Standard (FDIS): To be released February 2015
- Official Implementation Date of International Standard (ISO): September 2015
The documents developed by ISO are copyrighted and ISO charges for most of these documents. Some standards, however, are made freely available via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission.
Copies of the draft documents are available for free in electronic format. These can be helpful. But you must remember that they may be changed when issued in final form. For that reason, as well as the complexity of certain standards, you may need help from an expert consultant in this field or a local organization to develop your plans for compliance.
But most important: Start preparing for this change now. September 2015 is only a few short months away—13 to be exact!