The Importance of Transition
When ISO 9001:2015 was published in September 2015, it signalled the start of a three-year transition period during which those organizations wishing to move to the new version of the standard will need to make changes to their existing quality management systems.
The extent of the work involved will very much depend on each organization’s starting point.
Those who have embraced both the substance and the spirit of the 2000 edition will have respectively less work compared to those who are simply meeting the base requirements at present.
And for those organizations already operating by the spirit of ISO 9001:2008, the transition to ISO 9001:2015 should prove relatively straightforward.
Whereas, for those organizations that are simply complying with the requirements of ISO 9001:2008 at the most basic level, work will be required to address the current culture and operation of the organization.
Culture can be described as “the way things are done around here”. However, this culture will have to be reviewed and revised if necessary as a consequence of the adoption of Annex SL as the basis for ISO 9001:2015.
This includes the behaviours of everyone connected with the quality management system, and, in particular, of those operating at the most senior level within an organization.
Culture change can be notoriously difficult to effect and it is primarily for this reason that the CQI and IRCA have taken the position that ISO 9001:2015 represents such a significant revision.
Irrespective of the starting position, the migration process should begin now.
ISO’s survey data shows a significant dip in ISO 9001 registrations immediately following the last major revision in the year 2000.
While it is unclear exactly why this was the case, at least some of the reduction has been attributed to organizations leaving it too late to align their systems to the 2000 edition’s requirements, and, as a consequence, their certificates were withdrawn.
For organizations that rely on ISO 9001 certification to demonstrate their competency as a supplier, the loss of such certification will invariably have a direct impact on profitability.
By starting now you can ensure you effect your transition in a controlled and timely manner well ahead of the September 2018 deadline.
Quality practitioners should start by familiarizing themselves with the revised requirements, as set out in the CQI’s ISO 9001:2015 report, and prepare plans to modify their existing quality management systems as necessary.
Top management need to understand their new obligations and must be prepared to evidence leadership, in addition to management, of their QMS.
Internal and external auditors will need to up-skill, to equip themselves to assess a standard where old friends such as the management representative, the quality manual and documented procedures have disappeared and where new evidence sources have been introduced in their place.
The CQI recognizes that the changes may seem a little daunting.
That is why we have committed to running a series of on-going roadshows, technical articles and briefings aimed at supporting members and those wanting to learn more about the transition process.
Whatever your role in the quality profession and whatever sector your organization may operate in, the CQI will be on hand to provide informed and impartial advice to facilitate your transition.
Andrew Holt is technical content executive at the CQI.
NQA TRANSITION SUPPORT
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