ISO Standards Update: The journey to ISO/FDIS 9001:2015

With all the major ISO standards being revised, LRQA is at the forefront of communicating the changes to ISO 9001 to our existing and potential clients. Through online tools, innovative training workshops, gap analysis and client briefings, we are helping organisations worldwide ensure their seamless transition to the new standards, set for publication in 2015.

With the recent announcement that the draft international quality management system standard (ISO/DIS 9001:2014) has been approved to move to the final stage in its development process, we spoke to Steve Williams, LRQA System and Governance Manager about the revision to date, and what we can expect to see over the coming months.

Interviewer: Steve, from your perspective, what has been the single biggest change to ISO 9001 during the revision process?

Steve Williams: Without a doubt, Annex SL (the new high level structure and common text for all new and revised ISO standards) is the single biggest change to the ISO/DIS 9001:2014 document. At first glance, Annex SL appears to make the standard writers lives ‘much easier’ but in reality, as organisations begin to understand and appreciate the value of different management system standards (MSS) all speaking a common language, it will be organisations - and in turn the consumer - who stand to be the true beneficiaries.

Interviewer: So what are the benefits that these beneficiaries can expect to see?

Steve Williams: Well one of the main benefits is that this structure will drive MSS integration, thereby delivering increased organisational benefits and efficiencies while providing a more complete view of an organisation – often spanning multiple sites, geographies and involving multiple suppliers.

Interviewer: There has been a lot of talk within the industry about the introduction of a risk-based approach; surely that was always in ISO 9001?

Steve Williams: Yes, you’re right; risk was always implicit in ISO 9001 particularly with regards to preventive action. However, the new ISO 9001 makes it an explicit requirement so this means that organisations need to be able to demonstrate how they are managing risk within their businesses.

Interviewer: There seem to be many new terms in the revised draft standard; for example, purchasing has been replaced by the control of externally provided products and services. Isn’t this making things over-complicated for the end-user?

Steve Williams: No, not at all. This clarifies the fact that this clause is applicable not only to purchased product but also to services that the company use as part of their realisation processes, covering everything from concept to end use.

Interviewer: When the FDIS is published, can we assume that the elements that are contained within it will remain through to the publication of the standard itself, and do you expect to see any significant changes from the DIS.

Steve Williams: Once the FDIS is published, there will be no changes to the technical content. The only changes will be editorial. As far as the changes between the DIS and the FDIS are concerned, there are likely to be some based upon the comments submitted (which number in excess of 3000). However, it is unlikely that these changes will be significant.

As far as the FDIS publication is concerned, we have no firm date as yet, but we anticipate that this should be from March 2015 onwards with final publication of the standard being from September 2015. Through LRQA’s membership of the Independent International Organisation for Certification (IIOC), LRQA participates in all of the major committees helping to shape the future of the world’ leading ISO standards including ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management).

Whilst no date has been set for the publication of the FDIS, the current expectation is that this will be from March 2015, with the standard itself being published from September 2015 onwards. For more information about LRQA’s range of ISO transition services, or to talk to one of our specialists about setting up an organisational transition plan, email