The New ISO 9001: All You Need to Know
What is ISO 9001?
ISO 9001 is an internationally renowned standard used in 175 countries and over one million organisations. It enables your business to implement a Quality Management System (QMS). A QMS relates to any procedures that manage or create the products and services you offer. It ensures that you are performing these actions in the most efficient way possible. When becoming ISO 9001 certified you are required to have procedures in place that make sure you regularly assess the protocols of your QMS. This will mean that you are consistently reviewing your practices and finding ways to optimise them – assisting continual improvement.
What are the benefits of ISO 9001?
It can help give you a competitive advantage over other businesses, as Michelle Murdoch, Marketing Manager at qmsuk says:
“In an increasingly competitive market place certification can give your business the competitive edge it needs to keep your existing customers satisfied with the products or services you supply. Customer retention is critical in the current climate and the management system’s standards focus on ensuring that businesses meet their customer requirements; in particular this is reflected in ISO 9001.”
Becoming ISO 9001 certified can open up new business opportunities because it is such a widely recognised and respected standard. Furthermore, streamlining your procedures should increase productivity and can even reduce costs because you are utilising your resources more effectively.
What will be changing in the new ISO 9001?
As ISO standards endorse continual improvement, it is only logical that the standards themselves are also reviewed and improved. That is why ISO 9001 is currently being revised, with the new version due for publication in early 2015. The first draft up for review was made public at the beginning of last month. Here are the changes it proposes:
There has been an observation that ISO 9001 can be a too much of a bureaucratic process – that too much documentation could potentially slow down procedures rather than speeding them up. Therefore the new ISO 9001 standard focuses on realising the businesses objectives – ISO 9001 is now specifically designed to help businesses reach their aims whilst optimising their procedures. The draft also requires less documentation than the current version of ISO 9001. Furthermore the wording is altered to accommodate a more broad range of documentations; “documented information” has replaced the terms “records” and “documents”.
The last major revision of ISO 9001 was 13 years ago, thus the current draft version takes into account the updates there have been both practically and technologically.
The core aspects of ISO 9001 are emphasised; an effective QMS, producing the wanted outputs and providing confidence in a business’s services.
The language use in the draft is simplified and based around Annex SL. ISO provide a range of management systems for example an environmental management system (ISO 14001), which is also being updated. Annex SL provides instructions for a generic management system. Therefore if your business were to be certified in both the new ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 they would fit together easily as they are both based on Annex SL.
Overall, it seems that these new alterations will only enhance the benefits of becoming ISO 9001 certified.
To find out more about ISO 9001 visit qmsuk.com – QMS are specialists in ISO certification.