What is ISO 9001:2015?


Let’s cut straight to it: ISO 9001 is an international certification that demonstrates proof of a quality management system (QMS) in place.


Used by organisations (of all types), ISO 9001 highlights the professional ability to consistently provide a product/service that meets either customer or regulatory expectations.


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What is there to it?


Currently the only standard in the ISO 9000 series to offer certification, ISO 9001 is in its second major revision. Applying to any organisation (regardless of size or industry), ISO 9001 is recognised in more than 160 countries.


This standard intends to organise, improve efficiency & continually improve.


Several topics are covered relating to challenges in organisations operations. Here are some of the core concepts:


  • Requirements: the scope of correct and efficient processes and documentation
  • Context of organisation: understanding the internal and external factors that can have an impact
  • Leadership: Responsibilities of top management
  • Resources: management of resources, work environment and HR
  • Product: realisation, the process from design to delivery
  • Measurement: corrective and preventive actions, analysis and improvement of the QMS through internal audits


This standard, like many others, is based on a four-step methodology known as the PDCA cycle (plan-do-check-act). PDCA is considered a project planning tool for carrying out a change in an organisation or project. By following this operating principle, an organisation can strive for continuous improvement.


The 2015 revision


The latest revision of ISO 9001 was major, continuing to adapt to the changing environment of the organisations themselves.


Previous revisions were more concerned with the control of design (1994), or the compliance when applied with other ISO 9000 standards (2008). The 2015 revision in comparison has the most significant changes.


Here are five key areas that received revisions:


  1. Terminology: bringing the standard up to date with modern business language
  2. Information restructuring: methodology alignment with a more common business framework, Annex SL
  3. Emphasis on risk-based thinking
  4. Improved applicability: easier for any organisations to incorporate
  5. Increased leadership requirements


ISO 9001 timeline


What are the benefits?


There are enormous benefits to organisations accredited to ISO 9001:2015.


The standard is widely recognised, offering organisations a form of credibility. It also assists in consistently providing high-quality products and services – which in turn benefits the organisation through customer, employee and management satisfaction.


Further benefits of implementation of the standard include monetary savings, a well-structured organisation and continued development.


Full guidance of ISO 9001 is available here.

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