ISO 9001 Requirements - Improvement

To complete the PDCA cycle, the improvement clause moves into the ‘acting’ stage of the cycle. The improvement of products and services, and future needs and expectations is addressed here.

There is now emphasis on improving processes to prevent nonconformities and improving products and services, therefore acting on findings found in the previous clause.

Nonconformity and corrective action

The nonconformity referred to in this clause concerns the entire quality management system and not specifically the products or services of your organisation which are addressed under clause 8.7.

There is a new emphasis placed on nonconformity and corrective action with consequences now included. Thus actions taken now recognise the potential occurrence of a similar nonconformity elsewhere.

Make sure your organisation readdresses risks and opportunities in case they need updating following nonconformity.

If any nonconformities are identified, make sure you document the nature of the nonconformity and subsequent actions taken.

Continual improvement

Not much has changed since the 2008 standard, as ISO 9001:2015 still requires your organisation to continually improve the performance of your quality management system. Opportunities can be addressed as part of this continual improvement activity.

Key change from ISO 9001:2008

This clause now combines improvement with correcting and preventing issues. Although there was previously a clause for improvement, the new standard prescribes a more holistic approach to identifying a range of opportunities for improvement. Not only for continual improvement but there is also an emphasis on various levels of improvement, from individual actions to company-wide changes.

Read Next: ISO 9001 Requirements - Conclusion

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