ISO 9001:2015 more than certification

August 26, 2020 Blog

By Chakravarthy N V R

Due to industrialization and globalization, the quality of services has become an integral part of business processes worldwide.

Evolution of quality management has come a long way in the world. Earlier it was started with the defence sector followed by steam boilers, marine & automotive sector. For these sectors, different countries were following their own sectorial & national standards for compliance with quality.

To maintain the equality of services and products, organizations are adapting to newer and better methods. One such example is of the International organization for standardization (ISO), it has developed a quality management system which is defined as a formalized method that documents processes, procedures, and responsibilities which will eventually help in formulating quality policies and in achieving objectives.

ISO 9001 standard certification belongs to the family of ISO 9000 quality management systems. The certification designates a company entirely capable of meeting their customer’s requirement and is persistently working on improving the quality of their products and services. ISO 9001 is crowned as the widely used management system in the world today. 

What’s ISO 9001:2015 standard?

ISO 9001 is defined as the international standard that specifies requirements for a quality management system (QMS). Organizations use the standard to demonstrate the ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements. It is the most popular standard in the ISO 9000 series and the only standard in the series to which organizations can certify.

ISO 9001 was first published in 1987 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), an international agency composed of the national standards bodies of more than 160 countries. The current version of ISO 9001 was released in September 2015.

certification dignifies a company that it ensures business risk identification and control, its control methods, customer satisfaction along with accomplishing statutory and regulatory requirements in relation to the product.

 ISO 9001 is globally adopted which is attributed to the majority of factors listed as follows:

  1. Several major customers insist on their service providers to be ISO 9001 certified.
  2. A Risk-Based approach in implementing a management system to mitigate business and operational risks.
  3. Number of stakeholder’s benefits
  4. A series of studies have analysed the compelling financial benefits for companies that are certified to ISO 9001.

The new structure ofthe ISO 9001 standard has aligned with the common ten clauses to ensure greater harmonization among its many different management system standards. The new standard is a risk-based process approach. This standard will help organizations to integrate the requirements of more than one ISO Management system standard.

The main differences in content between the new and old version?

SL.NOISO 9001:2008ISO 9001:2015
1Customer FocusCustomer Focused Organization
2LeadershipLeadership
3Engagement of PeopleInvolvement of People
4Process approachProcess approach
5ImprovementSystem approach to management
6Evidence-based decision makingFactual approach to decision making
7Relationship ManagementContinual Improvement
8Mutually beneficial supplier relationship

Clauses for ISO 9001:2015 certification are:

Clause 1: Scope

Clause 2: Normative references

Clause 3: Terms and definitions

Clause 4: Context of the organization

Clause 5: Leadership

Clause 6: Planning for the quality management system

Clause 7: Support

Clause 8: Operation

Clause 9: Performance evaluation

Clause 10: Improvement

How to reap the benefits?

Whose responsibility is it to adhere to the ISO standard?  It’s everyone’s responsibility in the organisation.

For every organisation, customer focus & their satisfaction is the “Name of the game” and they are constantly striving towards additional assurance to our customer through continual improvement.

More than a certification, it gives answers to various questions as below and helps the leadership team to frame the policies and procedures which suit the organisation & Industry.

  1. How does the organisation address customer requirements?
  2. Does the business satisfy the needs of customers & stakeholders?
  3. Who are all the interested parties and whether the organisation satisfies their requirements?
  4. Is the organisation able to measure our quality objective consistently?
  5. Whether the results are compared between Planned vs Actual?
  6. Is the workforce happy?
  7. Are all the departments in the organisation aware of ISO standards?
  8. Whether employees in the organisation are recommended to go through our Quality policy, QMS, SOP etc?

All the above questions have been answered in ISO 9001:2015 between the clause 4-10 and it has been mapped with PDCA cycle.

These important clauses are considered as “Heart” of the Quality management system.

If we give less attention to any of the clauses, then the Quality management system will break down.

All the process owners are responsible towards adherence to ISO standard and they should be aware of the below.

  • Know about your Quality Policy, Quality Management system (QMS), Quality Objective & SOP of the organisation.
  • Understand the risk & opportunities in the business
  • Create and follow the mitigation plan against the risk.
  • Make a regular review on targets Vs achieved.
  • Measure the performance of interested parties & requirements
  • Conduct the regular audit & review the results.

Words from W. Edwards Deming “Without data, you are just one person with Opinion” Implementation of ISO standard will lead the organisations towards the growth path.

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