When to transition to ISO 9001:2015?

ISO Management ReviewIt’s not a secret that ISO 9001 is changing and that organizations will have to make some changes to their quality management systems. In order to remain registered to ISO 9001 you will need to update your Quality Management System. But the question is when do you need to update and when should you update? ISO will be allowing a three year time frame in which companies will need to upgrade from when the published version of ISO 9001:2015 is released. The current expected release date is in September of 2015. So with a bit of simple math, you upgrade in 2018. However, it’s not quite that simple. Registrars will need to perform a full system assessment before they upgrade your QMS. So rather than have them come in and review your complete system more often than necessary it would be best to have them do it in the year that your certification expires. This means that if your current ISO 9001:2008 certification expires in say May, 2017, have you registrar upgrade your system to the new 2015 version at that time. They would be doing a full assessment of your system anyhow. Otherwise you would have a full assessment to the 2008 version in 2017 and then perform and full assessment again to upgrade you in 2018. Two full assessments of your system in back to back years seems to be an unnecessary expense for your company.

Now some may ask, why not just stay with 2008 and not even bother with 2015 at all. While you can certainly choose not to upgrade your QMS, ISO 9001:2008 will no longer be valid after the mandated three year deadline. In order to continue to be registered to ISO 9001 your company must upgrade to ISO 9001:2015 by the three year deadline. After that the 2008 version will not be recognized nor valid. Therefore registrars will not be able to assess and recommend companies for certification to the 2008 version.