Selecting the best ISO 9001:2015 “risk-based thinking” approach

The world’s most popular quality management system ISO 9001 now requires organizations to place “risk-based thinking” at the center of their quality management system.

Organizations must now apply risk-based thinking when identifying and addressing their quality risks, designing their quality management system and allocating resources, managing their operational processes, monitoring, analyzing and evaluating their risk control performance and preventing or reducing the impact of nonconformance.

The revised standard states that organizations can either adopt a qualitative or quantitative risk-based thinking approach to these activities, depending on their context. Here I outline the key differences between the two options, and why your organization should choose the quantitative approach.

Qualitative approach

Qualitative risk-based thinking relies on people’s opinions rather than hard empirical evidence to assess process and supplier nonconformance risks. Its simplicity makes it an appealing ISO 9001:2015 option, but it has one serious weakness – you can’t effectively control your non-conformance risks using qualitative methods. And if you can’t effectively control your nonconformance risks – you can’t improve them; as highlighted out by H. James Harrington.

Organizations that choose to go down the qualitative route are very likely to end up with inconsistent risk assessments, suboptimal process and supplier monitoring, ineffective risk control, and little if any long-term improvement.

This can result in inappropriate risk controls, unnecessarily high monitoring costs, product and service rejections, rework costs, project delays, performance penalties, reputational damage and reduced earnings.

This is why, if used at all, qualitative “risk-based thinking” should be restricted to initial risk assessment activities only.

Quantitative approach

Quantitative “risk-based thinking” avoids many of the pitfalls associated with the qualitative approach by accurately measuring an organization’s process and supplier risks.

The typical risk matrices associated with each approach, illustrated below, highlight the key differences between the two approaches.

In the above example, the quantitative risk assessment matrices’ vertical axis represents the dollar ($) impact a product or service nonconformance is likely to have on an organization’s goals and objectives.   The horizontal axis, its frequency or rate-of-nonconformance; which acts as a precursor of future nonconformance likelihood or probability. In contrast the qualitative approach uses subjective descriptions.

The key to turning a quantitative risk assessment matrix into a highly effective and efficient ISO 9001 risk monitoring, control and improvement tool, is being able to accurately measure the consequence and rate of nonconformance at process and supplier levels.

In conclusion

The new risk-based thinking requirements outlined in ISO 9001:2015 can be seen as an extra burden by some organizations. For this reason, the qualitative route may appear appealing; despite its serious pitfalls.

Progressive organizations, however, will see the quantitative risk-based thinking approach as an opportunity to significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their quality management system; thereby helping secure their future business success.

Source: Peter Miller

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How to measure #training effectiveness according to #ISO9001

In a Quality Management System (QMS) based on ISO 9001, competence and training are an integral part of planning and managing the processes of the QMS. As explained in Using Competence, Training and Awareness to Replace Documentation in your QMS, knowing the competencies required to perform your processes, and closing any gaps between the competency required and the competency of your employees with training, is the backbone of having a well-run process rather than relying on documenting everything. However, in order for this to work properly you need a way to ensure that your training has effectively closed the gaps so that you have the competencies required in your workforce.

In the article Improving quality through effective training, the process of managing your training needs was discussed. This involved identifying the training needs, planning the training, and evaluating the training. Proper management of the training needs is critical if you are to know that the training you have presented is effective.

The very first step needs to be proper identification of the training needs. Without proper identification of the training needs, knowing exactly which competency is needed, how can you verify if the training has been effective? By properly identifying the competencies needed to satisfy the function of your process, your continual improvement needs and the requirements for your quality objectives, you can then compare the competencies you need against the competencies you have in your workforce.

By knowing what competency gap you are trying to resolve, you can more easily compare after your training to see if the competency has been filled. This will tell you if your training was effective.
Measuring training effectiveness: Some practical examples

One simple example of training that is commonly used in ISO 9001 implementation is ISO 9001 awareness training. When you have started to implement ISO 9001, very few people in your organization will understand what a QMS is about, so you will deliver the necessary awareness training to employees. After this training, you will follow up during your process implementation and internal auditing to see that employees now understand better how a QMS works within your organization. It is this follow up that shows you whether the training was effective.

For more information on ISO 9001 awareness training, see ISO 9001 awareness training material: How to create it, what it should contain.

As an example of using training to improve processes in your QMS after implementation, let us say that you have identified that one of your quality objectives is to decrease the cost to perform your processes by making them more efficient and effective. After some investigation, you decide that the best way to do this is to increase the number of small improvements within your processes through the use of the lean manufacturing concept of kaizen: a strategy that incorporates all employees to find incremental changes that will improve the manufacturing process. Since none of your employees understand this lean manufacturing concept, you identify that you have a training need in order to meet this quality objective.

The next logical step is to locate the training you need through an outside training supplier. This training is then delivered to all your employees so that they understand lean manufacturing, and in particular, how kaizen works. This can be done exclusively with the outside training organization, or you could train some internal people who can then train the other staff at your organization. At the end of the training, you can assess if people have learned the skill before they leave the training, which is the first level of verification of effectiveness.

However, after returning from the training you will be having your employees use their new skills. For example, one of the tools is a Kaizen Blitz, where a small group of individuals will work on a process to find ways to improve it in a short amount of time, and you can have several of these sessions throughout your company. These will generate improvements, and subsequent cost savings in your processes.

During this time you will collect data as to the cost savings that have been generated by these process improvements. After a length of time, say several months, this data will show how well your employees have been able to implement their new training towards your objective of decreasing the cost to perform your processes by making them more efficient and effective.

It is only at this point, once you have done this follow up on the effectiveness of your training, that you can know the true effectiveness of your training – when you monitor the process that you wanted to improve by supplying the training to close the competence gap in your organization.
Verify training effectiveness to gain the full benefit from your training

Verifying training effectiveness is something that many companies have troubles with; however, if you are not verifying the effectiveness of training, you are not getting the full benefit from the training. Since training is an investment, you want to know what the return on this investment was so that you can know that your money and time were well spent.

Without following up on your training investment to see if it was effective, you can never be certain that your investment was worth the cost. You owe it to yourself to check your return on investment in training, just like any other investment.

Source: Mark Hammar

How to use ISO 9001 to facilitate the manufacturing of a complex product

The reason for implementing a Quality Management System (QMS) is to improve the consistency of your product, but ISO 9001:2015 itself does not specify the process you need to use for manufacturing a complex product. This is due to the fact that the ISO 9001 standard is intended to be non-prescriptive, which means that it does not detail how to meet the requirements, so that it can be applied to many different products and services. Here is an explanation of how you would apply clause 8.5, production and service provision, and clause 8.6, release of products and services, to a complex product.
Manufacturing a complex product

Complex products will very often require the use all of the requirements within these two sections, while simpler products or services will not. Here is a generic flow for manufacturing a complex product, how the ISO 9001 requirements relate to the process, and some examples of what a company might use in the process of manufacturing a complex product:

1) Define and create the required documentation. A complex product will need some documentation that gives the details on how to manufacture and verify it (clause 8.5.1 a). This may include detailed drawings, parts lists, assembly instructions, inspection instructions, and testing procedures. These documents will provide all of the information that is needed to assemble, adjust if needed, and verify that the product meets all of the requirements that have been identified as necessary for its function.

2) Package your documentation for your employees. Often called a product package, build documentation package, travel kit, or production order, you need a way to identify in one place all of the documentation needed for the assembly, adjustment, and verification. This can take many forms, from entirely hard copy paper packages to entirely electronically stored and accessed, but it will be the one place that you can go to know the requirements, and status of all the requirements, on the product– especially when changes are made (clause 8.5.6).

3) Identify and include additional information in the product package. If you have requirements for identification and traceability (clause 8.5.2), such as batches or serial numbers assigned to the product, then this is the stage when these are often assigned as part of issuing the build documentation package. The package should also define any special requirements to maintain the preservation of the product through the assembly, adjustment, and test phases, so that it is delivered in working condition (clause 8.5.4).

4) Assemble the product. Complex products will require different skills to assemble the product, such as soldering, welding, bonding, and complex assembly. These operations may need specific environments to be done properly (clause 8.5.1 d), and may also require special competencies such as certified soldering personnel (clause 8.5.1 e). Some of these processes may even be of a nature that they cannot be verified after the fact (such as soldering), and are reliant on controlling the process and potentially destroying a sample product for inspection to prove the process is still working properly (clause 8.5.1 f), rather than inspecting the product directly. On some occasions customers will supply components to be assembled into the product, and this needs to be controlled (clause 8.5.3).

5) Adjust the product. Sometimes a complex product will not work immediately, and will need a tuning or tweaking step before it can be ready to test. This may also need specially competent persons (clause 8.5.1 e), specific environmental conditions (clause 8.5.1 e), and appropriate measurement devices (clause 8.5.1 b) to get the job done.

6) Verify the product. After the product is fully functional, then an appropriate test regimen will take place to make sure that all of the requirements that the product needs to meet are indeed within the specification limits. This will be done per a test procedure that outlines the activities to take place and the criteria to be met (clause 8.5.1 c), as well as the equipment to use (clause 8.5.1 b). This will sometimes include testing property that is supplied by the customer for some tests (clause 8.5.3).

7) Release the product to the customer. After you have made sure that all of the planned requirements for the product have been met, or any deviations are accepted by the customer, then you can present the product to the customer with the evidence that this has happened (clause 8.6). On a complex product this may entail test reports, inspection reports, audit reports, or customer inspection audits and reports delivered as evidence that requirements are met.

8) Perform post-delivery activities. Often, complex products require activities after you deliver such as installation of the product or ongoing service and maintenance of the product (clause 8.5.5). This may be due to the needs of the product, legal requirements, or customer requirements, but it is an integral part of the product. This is not intended to deal with non-conforming products returned because they don’t work
Not all products and services are the same

While this gives an outline of the process for a complex product, it is important to remember that not all products and services are the same, which is why the requirements of ISO 9001 are written as they are, so that they can be used by any organization in any industry throughout the world. As the internationally recognized standard requirements for implementing a QMS, the ISO 9001 requirements will help you to make sure your QMS includes all the elements necessary for a well-functioning management system to control the quality of your products and improve both your processes and your customer satisfaction, which is what you want out of a good QMS.

 

Source: Mark Hammar

#ISO14001:2015 integration with #ISO9001:2015 – What has changed?

By following the format set out in Annex SL, both the ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 standards have a top-level format that is the same, thereby making it easier to compare what is common and what is different between the two standards. The requirements of each standard start at Clause 4, and here is a summary of the similarities and differences between these clauses:

Context of the organization: Both standards include understanding the context of the organization, understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties, and determining the scope of the management system. By doing this, one process can be utilized for these activities, with a minor change in focus from the EMS to the QMS. For more information, see Determining the context of the organization in ISO 14001.
Leadership: Again, both standards include the need for leadership and commitment, creating and communicating a policy for the management system, and the definition of roles, responsibilities, and authorities as they relate to the quality and environmental functions within the management systems. One additional requirement in the QMS is the importance of customer focus. For more information, see How to demonstrate leadership according to ISO 14001:2015.
Planning: For both the EMS & QMS there is a need to address risks and opportunities, and to create and plan to achieve management system objectives. The EMS has additional requirements of understanding the environmental aspects and compliance obligations for the company processes, and these need to be addressed separately.
Support: Although minor differences exist, the common themes of resources, competence, awareness, communication, and documented information need to be addressed. Additionally, the processes and procedures put in place to address these requirements in both management systems can be the same, addressing both sets of documented requirements at once.
Operation: This is one major area of difference between the standards, and requires separate processes for both the EMS and QMS. While both include the need for operational planning and control, the EMS then only has emergency preparedness and response as additional requirements. The QMS has many more required processes such as design control, release of products and services, and control of non-conforming outputs.
It is beneficial to note that the operational control requirements for both the EMS and QMS can be integrated into the same processes and procedures; for instance, a purchasing procedure can include any EMS controls, such as the need for Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) when purchasing materials, rather than having a separate procedure for controlling purchase of these materials.
Performance Evaluation: Both ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 9001:2015 have a focus on the need for monitoring, measurement, analysis, and evaluation of the EMS & QMS, but what is being assessed by these processes is different. While the EMS is concerned with evaluation of compliance, the QMS looks at product evaluation and customer satisfaction. In both standards there are requirements for internal audit and management review, and these requirements have not changed much from the previous standards. Both can easily be done together by performing internal audit and management review of the processes of both management systems together. For more information, see Environmental performance evaluation.
Improvement: The final section of each standard concerns the need for continual improvement and corrective action. The processes put in place for these requirements can be made applicable to both the EMS and QMS, and in fact the requirements are almost identical between ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 9001:2015, which makes this integration easier.

Many of the processes remain the same

To make the integration of ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 9001:2015 easier, many of the process requirements have remained largely unchanged. Such processes as internal audit, corrective action, and management review are only slightly different than the requirements of ISO 14001:2004 and ISO 9001:2008, so where these processes were easily integrated before, they remain easy to perform in one process between the EMS and the QMS.

With many of the processes for monitoring and continual improvement of the EMS and QMS being the same, integrating these two management systems into an integrated management system is easier than you might think; and, being easy to integrate means you can gain even more benefits from the processes you put in place.

Source: Mark Hammar

Giving ISO 9001 a fresh sparkle

The new 2015 revision of ISO 9001, brought right up to date in response to vast changes in technology, business diversity and global commerce, promises to be the most effective, user-friendly and relevant quality management system yet.

ISO 9001 has just been updated! In the world of global quality management, this is an exciting event and important news for well over one million ISO 9001-certified organizations worldwide, and for the millions more individuals who use ISO’s famous quality management system standard (QMS) daily to facilitate trade. The latest 2015 revision, just published, gives the “jewel” of quality management a fresh sparkle, keeping it relevant and bringing it right up to date with today’s connected world.

Click to see the full infographic

Introduced in 1987, ISO 9001 has been revised four times to date, and the new version – ISO 9001:2015 – is the first major revision since 2000. It has been three years in the making and is the work of hundreds of experts from industry and commerce, standards stakeholders (i.e. consultants, users, test laboratories, certification bodies, etc.), academia and research bodies, government, NGOs, representing 81 ISO member bodies around the world, as well as many thousands of participants in the national mirror committees who reviewed and commented on the draft standard during its development. The result of this evolutionary process brings ISO’s best-selling standard firmly into the 21st century.

Certified organizations have three years following publication of ISO 9001:2015 in September to align their quality management systems to the new edition of the standard, although it is hoped they will not wait until the last minute to benefit from the significant changes in the latest version.

“It’s a game changer!”

Early feedback from reviewers and users of the standard has been very positive. “It’s a game changer,” says Simon Feary, Chief Executive at the Chartered Quality Institute in the UK. Alan Daniels of Boeing, who represented the International Aerospace Quality Group on the ISO 9001 revision subcommittee, sees it as “a real improvement that will lead to a more robust QMS”. “This is a wonderful opportunity for organizations to refocus their QMS on their business operations,” concludes Sheronda Jeffries of Cisco Systems, representing QuEST Forum, a global quality organization for the telecom (ICT) community. As for Mark Braham of the Automobile Association (United Kingdom), he believes ISO 9001:2015 will have huge impacts across the world, while Luiz Nascimento of the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (ABNT) thinks it will provide more confidence that quality management systems really do work.

Why change?

Many users, happy with ISO 9001 in its current form, may well ask “if it isn’t broken, why fix it?” But this latest revision is a response to vast changes in technology, business diversity and global commerce in the 15 years since ISO 9001:2000.

ISO 9001:2015 recognizes the increased prominence of the service sector and its need for quality management. It also reflects calls for greater QMS alignment and integration with an organization’s business and strategic direction, and makes it easier to adopt multiple ISO business management standards such as ISO 14001 and sector-specific QMSs such as the aerospace industry’s AS9100.

Representing the aerospace industry view, Alan Daniels also highlights changes in business models, more complex supply chains, and increased customer expectations as further compelling reasons for adapting the standard to a changing world. He believes ISO 9001 must enhance an organization’s ability to satisfy its customers while reflecting the increasingly complex environments in which they operate. It should also recognize the needs of all interested parties and align with other management systems – hence the call for extensive and detailed revision.

Have the changes been successful? In the opinion of Anni Koubek, Head of Innovation, Quality Austria, the 2015 version of the standard “clearly fits the global, dynamic, complex, networked and IT-driven business environment most organizations have to operate in much better than the 2008 version”.

What has changed?

The first piece of good news is that ISO 9001:2015 will be easier to use, particularly in conjunction with other management system standards, and will be less prescriptive – for example, documentation will be less mandated and more user-friendly, and the language has been simplified. It also follows the underlying philosophy that “output matters”, so it will ask if an organization’s processes are achieving their planned results, and if the system is actually delivering on its promise – central to implementing ISO 9001 – of “providing confidence in the ability to consistently provide conforming products and services”, explains Nigel Croft, Chair of the ISO subcommittee that revised the standard.

“ISO 9001:2015 is very much performance-based, with a focus on has to be achieved rather than to achieve it,” he adds. The new version combines the successful “process approach” with a new core concept of “risk-based thinking” to prioritize the processes, employing the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle at all levels in the organization to manage the processes and the system as a whole, and to drive improvement. This new risk-based focus is intended to prevent undesirable outcomes such as non-conforming products and services.

The 2015 version adopts a new high-level structure for ISO management systems standards – based on Annex SL of the consolidated ISO Supplement to the ISO/IEC Directives. It is expected to have a significant impact on organizations, trainers, consultants, certification and accreditation bodies, auditors and standards writers. Annex SL provides identical structure, text and common terms and definitions for all future ISO management system standards (MSSs), giving each a similar “look, touch and feel” and making implementing multiple standards within one organization easier. Now, all new ISO MSSs will follow this framework to ensure consistency and compatibility, ending some earlier confusion during implementation.

Mark Braham, CQI Category A liaison in ISO/TC 176, Quality management and quality assurance, sees “huge benefit” in following the Annex SL framework to integrate other management system standards, and help reduce management time and effort to meet requirements, while Sheronda Jeffries says that the inclusion of the new annex will better allow organizations to see the differences and similarities of ISO 9001:2015 with other MSSs.

How will the changes benefit you?

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“ISO 9001:2015 recognizes the importance of the organization’s business in terms of the type of products and services it provides, their criticality, and the external and internal factors that affect the way it works,” says Nigel Croft. The latest version obliges each organization to think about its own particular circumstances, rather than prescribing a “recipe” for how to design the quality management system. Organizations will therefore have greater flexibility in the way they choose to implement the standard, and the amount and nature of the documentation that is required.

One very important factor has been the greater alignment of structure, content and terminology for all ISO management system standards, particularly evident when looking at the new versions of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, he says, alluding to Annex SL. This is intended to make life easier for organizations needing to address the requirements of several standards in a single management system.

Assets of risk-based thinking

According to Alan Daniels, the new version will lead to a more robust QMS because it links the process approach with PDCA and risk-based thinking, and connects the QMS to strategic planning and the business processes. “Identifying risks adds value and opportunities for improvement, and the engagement of top management enhances the chance of success on all levels.” For Sheronda Jeffries, introduction of the term “risk-based thinking” along with the term “risks and opportunities” will encourage an organization to be more proactive.

“Risk-based thinking will help organizations make business decisions based on risk by providing the structure to manage it,” says Lorri Hunt of US-based quality management system training, auditing and consulting firm Lorri Hunt & Associates Inc. Anni Koubek also views it as the most important change in the new 2015 version, although she adds that it is not one single element that makes this standard different from the 2008 version; “it is the consequent orientation on results and a certain flexibility on how to build the management system that can be seen throughout the standard”.

Involving the leadership

For Simon Feary, the most significant change is the switch from management commitment to leadership and commitment, embedding responsibility for the operation and performance of the QMS at levels of the organization. The requirements for greater senior management involvement will put the quality profession in front of senior management like never before, he claims. Whether delivering quality management programmes or auditing against management system standards, he urges quality professionals to seize the opportunity to develop new skills and add greater value to their organizations.

The new emphasis on top management involvement is one of the most important changes for Mark Braham, particularly as “they must do tasks to meet the requirements and cannot delegate”. Lorri Hunt interprets the focus on leadership as a transition from the implication of one management representative being responsible for the QMS to the philosophy of a system owned by all of the leadership.

This top-down approach will significantly raise the status of ISO 9001 in the eyes of senior management, believes Leopoldo Colombo, Executive Director of the Quara Group, a Latin American management consulting and training organization. He thinks the days when quality managers would be thanked for their QMS status presentations and then asked to leave the meeting because “we have business to discuss” are over! “Version 2015 has set the requirements and anchorages needed to ensure that the QMS will be strongly integrated with the organization’s business and aligned with its strategic direction, so reviewing the effectiveness of the QMS will equate to reviewing the effectiveness of the business.”

A fresh start

“ISO 9001:2015 is an opportunity for a fresh start in the way users have been implementing ISO 9001,” says José Domínguez, Board Member of the Latin American Quality Institute (INLAC) and Director General of Plexus International in Mexico, a QMS training, assessment and coaching services organization. In his view, if users are serious about ISO 9001 as the main tool for implementing, maintaining and improving the QMS and use it as the foundation for their business operations, they will find it a more flexible and robust standard that can easily adapt to the nature and context of the organization.

Luiz Nascimento believes that, in general, all the changes constitute a real improvement in providing more confidence that quality management systems really work. “Chances are that the perception of the quality management system as a bunch of useless paperwork and unnecessary bureaucracy will change,” he said, adding that, if well applied, the new version can enhance the credibility of certification.

Third-party certification

What are the implications of ISO 9001:2015 for accreditation and certification bodies? Although Mark Braham thinks ISO 9001:2015 will initially create work to complete a gap review, implement changes and prepare for the first certification audit, he also expects that certification bodies will be able to reduce the number of audit days, therefore saving costs.

Sheronda Jeffries believes the introduction of “context”, “interested parties” and “scope of the quality management system” will have a positive impact on the third-party certification process because organizations will be encouraged to consider the boundaries of their QMS, and acknowledge the needs and expectation of their customers.

Simon Feary adds a caveat to balance his enthusiasm for the new version by saying that successful implementation will depend on certification bodies accepting the challenge by reflecting the standard writers’ intentions in the services they offer. Mark Braham concurs, adding that, “the success of the new standard will be down to the capability of the certification body and a healthy challenge”. He believes that will make the difference between a certificate on the wall or an effective management system enhancing customer satisfaction and reducing operational costs.

No problem adapting

Early signs suggest that the drafters of ISO 9001:2015 have succeeded well in developing a more robust QMS that will allow organizations to build confidence in the products and services they deliver throughout the supply chain to customers worldwide. If they prove right, Nigel Croft concludes that organizations currently operating a well-implemented ISO 9001-based QMS should have no problem whatsoever in adapting it to the requirements of the new version.

Source: ISO.ORG

What new in ISO 9001:2015

The most important changes in the upcoming ISO 9001:2015 standard are:

More emphasis on leadership

ISO 9001’s coverage will further extend to top management’ understanding of its business environment (including social, cultural and regulatory) and its internal strengths and weaknesses. This results in the quality management system getting more integrated into operational processes and that the policy and objectives are compatible with the strategy of the company, and top management more involved in ISO 9001.

New focus on risk management

The 2015 version of the standard introduces a new clause on risk management (clause 6.1 “Actions to address risks and opportunities”) which built upon the previous section on preventive action.

Clarifications on objectives, measurement and change

The requirements regarding quality objectives will be more detailed. However, this is mainly clarification of existing requirements in the 2008 version rather than new requirements.

More emphasis on communication and awareness

The two new clauses 7.3 “Awareness” and 7.4 “Communication” will place further emphasis on these two areas.

Fewer prescriptive requirements

The 2015 version will have less prescriptive requirements, including less requirements on documentation. For example, there won’t be explicit requirements for “quality procedures” and a “quality manual”. If this will have any practical effect on ISO 9001 documentation will have to be seen as we get closer to the publication of ISO 9001:2015. Also, the role of “Management Representative” is no longer required; instead, the same responsibilities will simply last with top management. Again, if this will have any practical effect will have to be seen.

The structure of the standard will undergo some changes to reflect the above described changes. The new standard will likely be structured as follows:

Clause 0: Introduction

Clause 1: Scope

Clause 2: Normative references

Clause 3: Terms and definitions

Clause 4: Context of the organization

Clause 5: Leadership

Clause 6: Planning

Clause 7: Support

Clause 8: Operation

Clause 9: Performance evaluation

Clause 10: Improvement

 

Source: www.9001council.org

Strong growth in energy and food management system standards, according to ISO survey

As the world evolves, it continues to trust ISO management systems standards to keep its organizations performing well. At least, that’s what transpires from the latest ISO Survey of Certifications.

The economy changes and we must change with it. But this doesn’t seem to dent the appeal and relevance of ISO’s management systems standards, as confirmed by the ISO Survey of Certifications 2014*, which gives a worldwide panorama of certifications issued to these fundamental standards. Interest is such, in fact, that a newcomer – ISO 22301 for business continuity – has been included in the annual survey, bringing the sum total to eight standards instead of the usual seven. In a world increasingly plagued by natural and human-induced disaster, the standard is already receiving keen interest from businesses worldwide wishing to obtain certification, which attests to its vast potential user base.

The latest edition of the survey indicates that most ISO management systems standards have now reached a steady cruising speed, a sign of their current – and future – longevity on the market. But while maturity sets in, three strong performers stand out of the crowd in the fields of energy management (ISO 50001, still flourishing with 40 %), food management (ISO 22000, with a respectable 14 %) and, to a lesser degree, the automotive sector (ISO/TS 16949), whose 8 % growth reflects the market’s recent, but ongoing, recovery.

Bearing out a trend that began a few years ago, the global share of certificates to ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management) has stabilized, with ISO 9001 showing a small 1 % growth while ISO 14001 picked up slightly from last year with an honourable 7 %.

So two decades on, have ISO’s flagship management standards become long in the tooth? Not necessarily. Simply, many of the world’s largest firms have now been certified and are branching out to more specific standards such as ISO 50001 for energy management. Yet despite adoption of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 maturing in many markets, that’s not to say they aren’t still loved, and the new editions released in September 2015 are expected to give the standards a fresh lease of life.

ISO Survey – Executive summary

Source: http://www.iso.ch