With both international management systems standards ISO 9001:2015 (quality) and ISO 14001:2015 (environmental) having just turned the corner on their first year of a three-year transition deadline, the clock is ticking for organisations who have yet to start the transition process.
Forward-thinking organisations recognise that there is more to transitioning early than simply securing assessor dates before diaries fill in the run-up to the September 2018 deadline. They know there are tangible competitive advantages to transitioning in advance, and that the sooner they do, the sooner they can realise these benefits.
In fact, organisations such as SICcast are already seeing new business enquiries following their ISO 9001:2015 certification, and Terex Trucks is reporting improved performance statistics as a result of their ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 certificates.
Whilst your organisation’s unique business situation and the maturity level of your existing management systems will determine your transition plan, there are universal advantages to early adoption and transition:
- The revisions may appear significant, but in reality, if your organisation already has a conforming management system, you can often easily adapt it to the new requirements and also conduct the transition audit at pre-planned surveillance visits.
- Annex SL makes working with both ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 simpler, as they now flow neatly together by virtue of a common structure. The operational efficiencies to be gained are significant if your organisation operates multiple management systems simultaneously or in an integrated manner.
- The new emphasis on leadership and top management requires deeper top management engagement, resulting in a management system that looks at the big picture and organisational context. This ensures priorities are balanced, with more visibility and employee buy-in throughout all departments and your systems are aligned with your organisation’s most important objectives.
- By initiating the transition process ahead of the competition, your organisation stands in good stead of addressing any problems or challenges that may require more time than previously anticipated to resolve, and to do so in a systematic and structured manner.
- Transitioning to the new standard now, rather than over a long period of time, ensures that you will not be maintaining a management system that is compliant to both an old and a new standard. This translates to lower compliance burden on your organisation, lower risk of non-conformance, and therefore less resource, time and cost incurred.
- By being an early adopter of the new standards, your organisation will be perceived by prospective and existing customers as a market leader who takes a proactive and determined approach. This will improve their confidence in your products, services and brand.
Steve Williams, LRQA Systems & Governance Manager concluded, “The new ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 standards present organisations with an opportunity to make their management systems even more powerful, moving beyond compliance to performance. Delaying your transition and not planning ahead could potentially put your certificate at risk.”
With two years to go until the transition deadline, it’s not too late to benefit from the revisions. LRQA offers a range of assessment services as well public and in-house training courses, all aimed at helping to ensure that your organisation has a smooth transition to the new standards.