The Shift to ISO 9001:2015 Certification

As of September 2015, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) revised the quality management standards outlined in ISO 9001:2008. These standards impact businesses of all sizes, in all industries, including over 1 million businesses and organizations across over 170 countries. R&M Machine currently operates under ISO 9001:2008 certification and is shifting processes and quality management tools to meet certification requirements of ISO 9001:2015.

ISO 9001 quality management standards are reviewed every five years to ensure they accommodate changes in technology, production, efficiency, and globalization. ISO 9001:2015 has been characterized less as a “revolution” and more of an “evolution” which brings the standards up-to-date to best utilize available technology and meet the needs of many different industries. The new standards change the approach of some aspects of quality standardization, such as documentation and industry-specific requirements, and change the overall thought process behind quality management.

Major changes include the following:

  1. ISO 9001:2015 now uses a High-Level Structure system, the same used by other standardization processes such as environmental standardization or sustainability standardization. This allows businesses to approach any obstacle using the same system, and helps to ensure the process meets the best practices outlined under different ISO guides.
  2. Instead of placing specific requirements on certain processes and industries, ISO 9001:2015 shifts the approach in order to minimize problems. ISO 9001:2015 outlines implementation for “risk-based thinking” in quality management systems. Business leaders are given general tools for risk assessment and management that they may apply to specific risks or obstacles faced in their business or industry.
  3. ISO 9001:2015 appreciates the shift away from lengthy and costly documentation processes and places less emphasis on monitoring the results and more emphasis on utilizing the proper system. This operates under the principle that a properly implemented and tested process will produce quality products or services.
  4. The focus shift away from products towards processes makes it easier for businesses to implement a service model. This also places more emphasis on assessing the organizational structure of the business and the context of the process.

Businesses certified under ISO 9001:2008 requirements will have until September 2018 to be newly certified. After September 2018, the ISO 9001:2008 certification will no longer be valid. R&M is currently implementing changes to meet certification requirements and recommends all businesses do the same to prevent a costly lapse in ISO 9001 certification.