Sept 15 is the end of ISO 9001 2008…what does that mean?

The 2008 version of ISO 9001 will be officially withdrawn on September 15. The changes that came with the 2015 version were initially controversial, but have now calmed down and will soon be the new “standard.”

The controversy was created by the nay-sayers who took extreme opinions on risk in particular and how it will be applied to organizations. Another set of concerns arose over the lack of procedures, mistake proofing, knowledge and any topic that allowed nay-sayers a voice.

We have seen certification bodies take a more pragmatic view than this and generally they are very open to any evidence they see. It is clear they are or have been worried about their clients transitioning. Because of their worry, certification bodies have worked to make the transition as easy for them to stay customers as possible. In some respect, this dumbs down the standard, and because of this approach, it is possible that some ISO 2015 certified organizations did not fully understand and implement the changes. In turn, these organizations will not see the benefit that those changes will bring. We hope that this will change in time as follow up and surveillance auditors insist on better solutions.

The quality issue is much bigger and more complicated than succeeding in an audit that they shouldn’t have passed. Customers know, they know what ISO expects – they expect it too. They know, they were looking forward to a better ISO solution and are disappointed if they do not find it in their suppliers.

Certification organizations are not alone in taking the easy way out. We saw the major ISO training direction organizations IRCA and Exemplar Global, take different approaches to the new standard. One insisted on class-based skills training of 16 hours to understand how to audit the new standard. The other provided some online content and an exam – maybe 2-4 hours.

Welcoming the changes

The changes to the standard are excellent. Finally, documents are only needed if they are required. The flexibility of risks makes everything practical, and the inclusion of strategic processes for quality mean the whole organization is pulled together in a real success focused and forward-looking organization. It is always possible to look at things in the worst way; however, we at Cavendish Scott choose to see the new and changed requirements as a positive step forward. We work to get the best possible outcome in each change. The ISO 9001:2015 standard is an excellent standard that can help any organizations.

The impact of a new standard

However, good or bad the changes have had an impact. About a year ago different industry-leading organizations were reporting that as many as 40% of certified organizations were not transitioning. While it is likely that figure has moved some; it is probable a large number of organizations have chosen not to renew their certification.

Not renewing certification may be a big mistake. A robust QMS assures lower cost and designs greater confidence in performance. Customers need that and ISO provides them with this solution without having to know the details. There may now be a tremendous opportunity for all of the organizations that did transition to take business from those that dropped certification.

Time will tell, but the customer and their need for confidence are more important than ever. Newer, more dynamic, more flexible organizations need to demonstrate their reliability. Many organizations will find ISO is the way for them to do it. Customers will buy into that. They have historically. Established and inflexible organizations that suddenly do not have ISO might pay the price.

Cavendish Scott has been working with management systems for over 30 years. We take a practical solution that is success focused and optimized for the organization. We maximize value from the solutions we develop and guarantee certification. If you are a new and upcoming organization that wants ISO to demonstrate how good you are to the market or just for more information about how you can transition click here. Feel free to ask a question here or let us know about your project here.