It’s been seven years since the last revision of ISO 9001. The update, scheduled for this year, will see the standard evolve, modernising it through integration with other standards and management systems. As well as this, the update is designed to ease the increasing complexity of operating environments while establishing the standard itself as a foundation for quality management for the next decade and beyond.

A focus on “risk-based thinking”

Arguably, the revision to the ISO 9001 standard in 2015 is more of an evolution than a revolution. The update will incorporate Annex-SL for a degree of familiarity, while all the basics of ISO 9001:2008 remain. There’s still the process approach which was so successful in the 2008 iteration complete with underlying ‘Plan, Do, Check, Act’ methodology. 

However, despite this, we have to be careful not to discount one or two significant changes. For starters, there’s lots of new examples of terminology (‘Product’ is now ‘Goods and Services’, ‘Supplier’ is now ‘External Provider’ while references to the ‘Quality Manual’ are removed altogether).

But it’s the emphasis toward ‘risk-based thinking’ that has really caught the attention. I was speaking with David Sharp recently, Managing Director at Aletheia IMS Ltd, a company who provide integrated quality management and airfield assurance for NATO, UN, The US Government, International Military Community, the Healthcare, Manufacturing, Waste Management Industries &  Food Services Industries. Aletheia also provide consultancy services for us here at Gael Ltd.

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