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10 things you need to know about the ISO 2015 revisions – STEP 1

10 things you need to know about the ISO 2015 revisions – STEP 1

We previously published a series of 10 blogs on the revisions to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, and they have proved very popular. The content of those blogs was based mainly on the Draft International Standard (DIS) versions which were published in 2014. With the publication of the actual ISO Standards in September 2015, our series of 10 blogs has been updated and amended to reflect any changes in the content, timescales and other practical arrangements.

This is the new Step 1- the other blogs have retained the same titles and cover the same High Level Structure (HLS) clauses, with Step 10 Next Steps now updated to reflect the publication of the actual ISO standards. Between Step1 and Step 10 we have updated the blogs to reflect the ISO content and also include some of our experience to date with the new standards.

I thought it would be useful to quickly summarize in a few bullet points below some of the key changes which have taken place in the steps from DIS to FDIS and ISO versions:

•    The main (and good) news is that since the standards are all built around the High Level Structure (HLS) the fundamentals are the same, and all of the really good improvements on context, leadership and risk and opportunities are here to stay.

•    Also encouraging from my review of the 10 blogs is that there isn’t a great deal to update, because the aim of the blogs was to really provide a good overview of the critical changes, and not get bogged down in a blow-by-blow review of all the detail.

•    With ISO FDIS 9001 most of the changes between the DIS and FDIS are within the detail of sub-clauses – there has been no renumbering or rearranging of sub-clauses. Some of the text has been simplified, consolidated and improved, and there have been some amendments to make clearer where documented information is required. Also, the Introduction section of the standard has been slightly rearranged and altered, but still covers the key areas of a process approach, Plan-Do-Check-Act and risk-based thinking.

•    Also- ISO FDIS 9001 has now moved all Terms and Definitions to the separate standard ISO FDIS 9000:2015, but……

•    For ISO FDIS 14001 the terms and definitions have been retained in the standard and not put in a separate one. I guess one reason might be that there are 20 pages of terms and definitions in ISO FDIS 9000:2015, and only 7 pages of terms and definitions in ISO FDIS 14001:2105.

•    With ISO FDIS 14001 there has been some consolidation of sub-clauses under Clause 6: Planning, around the content under Clause 6.1 on Risks and Opportunities. This has been revised to ‘flow’ much more logically from the DIS version, where the connections and interactions between context, aspects and compliance obligations didn’t work very well. This is now much improved.

•    Other changes in ISO FDIS 14001:2105 represent simplifications, clarifications and other more minor changes to text.

•    With publication of the actual ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 there have been minimal changes- only some very limited text and wording edits.

•    With the actual ISO Standards published, there will be a 3 year transition period for fully complying with them.  This is defined in the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) Transition Planning Guidance for ISO 9001:2105 and ISO 14001:2105 – both very useful documents freely available for the IAF website.

•    As we have emphasized in these blogs and in other communications, if you haven’t started already we would urge you to review and consider the changes now and review what you might need to change.

Finally- and this is still very true- there will be a lot of information around on the revisions, and there will be a number of changes which organizations need to consider, BUT, if you are an organization which already looks at management systems as a serious part of your business, you should be able to tackle the changes with limited impact. If you have a ‘badge on the wall’ and your management system isn’t an integral part of your business, then firstly, you are missing an opportunity to actually do something useful for the time and money you are spending on the management system and any approvals, and secondly, you might find some of the changes in ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 more challenging.

Please revisit the other blogs in the series, and we welcome your feedback and comments.

In my next blog post I discuss the High Level Structure


Contact us for support: Transition to the ISO 2015 revisions

Do you have questions related to  the ISO 9001:2015 & ISO 14001:2015 revisions? Post them in our LinkedIn group , and our auditors Doug Milne and Niall Pembery will get back to you.

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