ISO 9001:2015 – a new and improved quality standard

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ISO 9001 has been revised to keep up with the ever-changing world, where technology is under a constant development, supply chains are becoming more complex, and geographic boundaries are almost nonexistent. The new version of the standard, ISO 9001:2015, puts great emphasis on the responsibility of top management to make the standard a more integrated part of the organization.

What is 9001?
The ISO 9001 standard is based on quality management principles, including a strong customer focus, involvement of top management, and the approach of continual improvement. ISO 9001 deals with quality management systems, which is a way of defining how an organization can meet the requirements, and expectations of customers and other involved stakeholders. The standard does not specify the objectives related to ‘quality’; instead, organizations must define these to suit the individual organization. The standard can be used across all organizations of all sizes, regardless of their field of activity.

With ISO 9001, organizations must put their customers first and ensure that they get consistent high-quality products and services. The strong customer focus can entail both new and reoccurring customers and thereby increase business for organizations. The standard also makes it easier to simplify and streamline the processes in relation to obtaining multiple certifications. Furthermore, all processes will be aligned and made comprehendible by all employees in an organization, which will increase the overall efficiency.

The changes from 9001:2008 to 9001:2015
ISO 9001:2015 is the newest edition of the standard and focuses on leadership rather than management as opposed to ISO 9001:2008. This includes a focus on the commitment from top management to take responsibility for the effectiveness of the quality management system. This shift in focus means that the quality work must support the organization’s overall strategy, which will in turn have a more prominent role in the quality work.

Since ISO 9001:2008, technology has changed and geographical boundaries have become almost nonexistent, while supply chains are becoming increasingly complex. The standard has therefore been revised to maintain its relevance in today’s marketplace. The latest version, 9001:2015 therefore takes the vast changes in technology, business diversity and global commerce into account.

When will it take effect?
The new standard was published in September 2015 and will have a three-year transition period. This means that the ISO 9001:2008 standard will become obsolete in September 2018. Organizations wanting to maintain their certification will need to upgrade their quality management system to the new edition of the standard and seek certification within it.

Complying with the ISO 9001:2015
All certification programs in an organization should have the same structure to ensure an efficient and streamlined process – possibly by reusing documentation. It can therefore be beneficial to implement internal controls, or even an internal control framework, to ensure that procedures are followed to either maintain or obtain certifications.

Often the material for various certification programs is gathered from users who does not have much knowledge on documentation. Impero offers a solution that can gather and keep all relevant documentation in the cloud. Within Impero, external auditors and other certification bodies can easily be granted access to the documentation.

Impero offers an intuitive cloud-based compliance solution that has a unique, light-weight approach to compliance within various standards. Current clients have benefitted from Impero in relation to SOX compliance and for complying with ISO 27001 and for managing balance sheet reconciliation and and GDPR documentation.