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10 things you need to know about the ISO 2015 revisions – STEP 9

10 things you need to know about the ISO 2015 revisions – STEP 9

In my previous blogs I covered:

Step 1: ISO Publication and Beyond
Step 2:
The High Level Structure
Step 3: Clauses 1, 2 and 3 – Scope, Normative References and Terms and Definitions
Step 4: Context of the Organization
Step 5: Leadership
Step 6: Planning
Step 7: Support
Step 8: Operation

A quick reminder of the 10 Clauses of the High Level Structure- this blog covers Clause 9:
1. Scope
2. Normative References
3. Terms and references
4. Context of the organization
5. Leadership
6. Planning
7. Support
8. Operation
9. Performance evaluation
10. Improvement

I’ve decided to put these two Clauses into the one blog for a couple of reasons – the first one is because they are significantly similar to the existing ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 in many respects, and also because the two clauses cover the performance evaluation, improvement and internal assurance aspects of the newly configured standards.

Clause 9 covers three main elements:

9.1: Monitoring, measurement, evaluation and analysis

9.2: Internal Audit

9.3: Management review

For sub-clause 9.1, the content differs between ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015. For ISO 9001:2015, 9.1 contains familiar content on customer satisfaction and analysis and evaluation, whilst for ISO 14001:2015 it contains the familiar content on evaluation of compliance. For both there are requirements broadly similar to the existing ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, but with a more holistic approach and a stronger drive for evidence of evaluation of key performance data.

The sub-clauses 9.2 Internal Audit, and sub-clause 9.3 Management Review are largely the same as the existing standards, but with some broader topics and alignment with the new language of risks and opportunities, and the context of the organization.

Clause 10 effectively covers three main elements:

A general statement requiring the organization to determine improvement opportunities and implement necessary actions.

A sub-clause on nonconformity and corrective action.

A sub-clause on continual improvement.

For the sub-clause on nonconformity and corrective action, much of the content is familiar and similar to the existing standards, but as many of you will already know, the term Preventive Action has now been completely deleted from all of the standards. Why? Because the new High Level Structure (HLS) is built on the fundamental principles of risk management, which embodies the need to identify risk and manage those risks, with the ultimate goal of risk elimination. Hence there is no need for the term preventive action when we have the principles and expectations of risk management. The content of the sub-clause on continual improvement is also similar to the existing standards, and effectively re-emphasizes elements of performance and improvement documented elsewhere in the standards.

Overall these two Clauses contain much which is familiar to the existing ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, but we should not forget the benefits of the High Level Structure (HLS) in providing the common and consistent framework and structure for these evaluation and improvement parts of the standards. There are some nuances in content and terminology, and some expansion of requirements, but these are not significant and can be tackled relatively easily.

In my last blog, Step 10, I will draw some overall conclusions and also set the scene for the transition to the new Standards.


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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