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Mumbai, India, 11 March 2014

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has issued a Committee Draft of the next major revision to ISO 9001 (03 June 2013). This is essentially a discussion document which lays out a set of requirements which could be included in the final published version of the 9001 revision. ISO members are being given an opportunity to comment and then vote on the proposed draft requirements. For that reason the Committee Draft only describes potential requirements of the 9001 revision, it is unlikely that these requirements will be included in the final version without further change. This Committee Draft is the latest in a series of preparatory stages which have to be carried out by ISO before the final revised version of ISO 9001 can be formally published.

ISO 9001 Revision Timetable

Publication of the Committee Draft was delayed from its originally planned issue date by just over a month and this has inevitably affected the preparatory stages schedule. The current ISO timeline anticipates that a formal draft version of the revised Standard (DIS) will be available in Q3 of 2014. Subject to comment and voting on its content, a final draft version (FDIS) could be available during the first quarter of 2015.  The ISO Working Group (TC176-SC2-WG24) is currently forecasting final publication of the revised version of ISO 9001 in the third quarter of 2015. Clearly this timeline may be subject to further delay and date slippage.

Revised Content

Although the Committee Draft only describes potential requirements which may form part of the final revised version of ISO 9001, it does at least give an indication on what might be included. The requirements proposed by the Committee Draft include changes to the way in which personnel competence should be evaluated and approved, a greater emphasis on risk identification, mitigation and monitoring, more specific requirements related to the application of a process approach to QMS implementation, the need to identify interested parties relevant to an individual QMS and determine their requirements, the removal of any explicit requirement for preventive action, as well as changes to some of the general terminology used in ISO 9001.

Again, it must be stressed that these suggested requirements would need to be complied with only if incorporated into the final published version of the revised ISO 9001. 

What we can be more sure of is that the revised version of ISO 9001 will incorporate a number of structural changes. Following the adoption by ISO of ‘Annex SL’ in 2012, all technical committees developing management system standards have to use the same structure, terms and definitions. Management system standards have already been published using this harmonised structure (e.g. ISO 20121:2012, Event Sustainability Management Systems) and ISO 9001 will follow this new format during its revision process.

For this reason, we know that the revised version of ISO 9001 will have ten sections:

  1. Scope
  2. Normative references: Both of these sections will have wording that is specific to the Standard (including its intended outcome).
  3. Terms and definitions: This will reference the common terms and core definitions outlined in Annex SL as well as any which are specific solely to QMS.
  4. Context of the organisation: This section will include requirements relating to understanding the organisation implementing the Standard, the needs and expectations of interested parties, the scope of its QMS and the QMS itself.
  5. Leadership: Top management leadership and commitment, the QMS policy, as well as organisational roles, responsibilities and authorities.
  6. Planning: Actions to address risks and opportunities, QMS objectives and plans to achieve them.
  7. Support: Resources needed for the QMS, personnel competence and awareness, communication and documented information.
  8. Operation: Operational planning and control.
  9. Performance evaluation: Monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation, internal audit and management review.
  10. Improvement: Non-conformity, corrective action and continual improvement.

Future Updates from SGS

As previously indicated, at this stage of the revision process  no organisation can be sure of the additional QMS specific content that will be included in the final revised version of ISO 9001. Until the final draft (FDIS) is issued in the early part of 2015, no organisation can realistically make any definite forecast about requirements, detailed plans for internal process or procedural revisions, or for ISO 9001 certificate transition arrangements. (Note: the current intention is that the transition period for users of ISO 9001:2008 to transfer to the new version of this Standard would be three years, though this has still to be formally ratified).

Further information and updates on the development of ISO 9001: 2015 and its publication schedule will be issued by SGS as they become available.

For more details, please contact:

Shilpa Chaudhary
System & Services Certification
SGS India Private Limited
SGS House 4-B Adi Shankaracharya Marg
Vikhroli (West) Mumbai 400 083
Maharashtra India
t: +91 22 6640 8746

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