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ISO 9001:2015 - world's leading Management System Standard

Globally adopted in virtually all industries - from manufacturers and service companies, to companies both large and small, multi-site multi-national organizations and single location businesses, ISO 9001 has become the most widely recognized Management System Standard. The release of the 2015 standard provides businesses with the opportunity to adopt a more holistic approach to managing their business processes. These requirements can bring discipline and consistency to an organization’s operating processes.

ISO 9001:2015 significantly differs from the 2008 version. The key changes include:

  • A stronger focus on risk management and customer satisfaction
  • More emphasis on leadership and commitment
  • Fewer prescriptive requirements
  • More requirements on communication and strategic alignment
  • Formal introduction of ‘interested parties’

Of importance is the addition of the new “Annex SL” platform (replacing the ISO Guide 83). This platform brings together a common framework for a number of management system standards, ensuring consistency and making the standards easier to read and implement across the whole business management system.

Below are some commonly asked questions on the 2015 version of ISO 9001:

What's new to the ISO 9001:2015?

The most significant change to ISO 9001:2015 is the Annex SL high-level structure. In addition, several terms have changed, including the use of “products and services” in place of “product”, a shift to “improvement” as opposed to “continual improvement” and “purchasing” and “outsourcing” will be replaced with “external provision of products and services”. The new standard also speaks about the identification and of needs and expectations concerning ‘interested parties’. There is a greater emphasis on the production of desired outputs and process management in general. Risk is another frequently discussed change within the new standard. What was once referred to as ‘preventative action’ has evolved to require organizations to employ risk-based thinking. Further to these changes, there is no longer a requirement for a quality manual, however, while documentation procedures will be less prescriptive, requirements for documentation of information will be more explicit.

Interested in learning how ISO 9001:2008 compares with ISO 9001:2015? Click here to view the correlation matrix.

SAI Global has published a whitepaper that includes an overview and analysis of the new high-level structure of ISO 9001, Annex SL. Click to download this free resource.

How will this revision impact my organization?

If you are currently certified to ISO 9001:2008, ISO 9001:2015 has a new structure and new requirements. It will take a certain amount of resources on your part to update your Quality Management System for ISO 9001:2015. With respect to the certification cycles, these are not modified by the 2015 revision; it remains a three-year cycle with timing rules applicable to the current version of ISO 9001. The transition, however, may affect the certification cycle, for example by setting a new start or expiration date, but this depends on a number of factors and may be clarified with your certification body.

For organizations new to ISO 9001:2015, the best place to start is by purchasing the standard. You may also wish to attend training to become familiarized with the requirements.

When should my organization begin preparations to transition?

For organizations currently certified to ISO 9001:2008 you should consider starting the implementation plan now. Begin a dialogue with managers that will be affected by the proposed changes. Help them gain a comprehensive understanding of the issues at hand and begin to strategize an action plan for implementation. If you have certification to more than one standard, look at where management system integration might be possible and beneficial to your organization. You may begin the transition process now as the standard was published in September of 2015. If you wish to complete your upgrade outside of your regular audit, you may do so, however it would be more efficient to do an upgrade audit to ISO 9001:2015 during one of your regular surveillance audits.

Where can I find more information on ISO 9001:2015?

For more in-depth review/understanding of the 2015 revision we have a series of webinars, whitepapers and training courses in various locations across North America. Click here to view our free resources or visit our training calendar for courses geared to the new standard.

You may also contact SAI Global with any questions at or call 1 (877) 426-0714.

At SAI Global we are committed to providing you comprehensive insights on your current system and help you complete an effective and efficient transition to ISO 9001:2015.


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