ISO 9001 Updated Standard FAQs | NQA

ISO 9001:2008 has been revised and the new standard (ISO 9001:2015) was published in September 2015. Organizations that are currently registered to ISO 9001:2008 will have until the 14th September 2018 to transition to the 2015 standard.

Here are some FAQs to help you as you begin to explore the standard changes.

WHERE CAN I GET INFORMATION ON THE NEW STANDARD WHICH DETAILS THE SUMMARY OF CHANGES?

NQA have produced a Transition Guidance document and a Transition Checklist which details the main changes between 2008 and 2015 versions of the standard. 

I AM ISO 9001:2008 CERTIFIED. WHERE DO I BEGIN?

  1. ​1. Obtain a copy of the Standard here.
    2. The introduction of Annex SL is the biggest change contained within the ISO 9001:2015 document.
    3. In parallel, research and read the NQA Key Concepts Guide and the Gap Analysis Document for further guidance. 
    4. Look at how your organization already manages the new and significantly changed areas and how this relates to your quality or integrated management system.
    5. Begin thinking about a transition plan and timings for when and how you will review your management system. Speak to your NQA Assessor regarding the transition options available.
    6. Think about the training you and your colleagues may need to develop key skills and knowledge that will assist you with the changes.

YOU MENTIONED NEW AND REVISED AREAS IN ISO 9001:2015; WHAT ARE THESE?

Annex SL is the single biggest change to the ISO 9001:2015 document. Our Gap Analysis Document provides more details on all of the expected changes as well as Annex SL.

HOW SOON CAN I START THE TRANSITION PROCESS?

It may be useful to start communicating internally that a revision to ISO 9001 has been published in September 2015. However – please remember that your system must remain compliant with the requirements of ISO 9001:2008 until your transition has been completed. Our Assessors and Team are on hand to answer any specific transition questions you may have.

DO WE HAVE TO BE READY TO TRANSITION TO THE REVISED STANDARD STRAIGHT AWAY?

No. You have 3 years to transition from the 2008 version to the 2015 standard and you can choose when to transition at any point within this period. Some organizations will want to be “amongst the first”, some will want to do it at re-certification – the choice is yours.

NQA would advise to start the transition plan early, including setting and communicating a transition target date, as this will enable you and your organization to pro-actively manage the transition at your desired pace.

WILL THE TRANSITION MEAN ADDITIONAL DAYS AND ADDITIONAL COSTS?

NQA will be able to upgrade your certification to the 2015 standard during routine surveillance / recertification audits, or via an additional one-off ‘Special’ audit.

If you want your upgrade to be completed as part of your routine surveillance / recertification auditing this will need to be communicated to us in advance to ensure we can plan effectively. Each client’s upgrade will need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine whether any additional days (chargeable) will be required.

Our NQA technical advisors will be reaching out to communicate the different approaches with each client.

HOW LONG WILL ISO 9001:2008 CONTINUE TO BE RECOGNIZED AND AUDITED TO?

The current standard will be recognized and can be audited to until the end of the 3 year transition period for ISO 9001:2015 (14th September 2018). However, NQA will stop issuing new certificates to ISO 9001:2008 twelve months after the new version is published (14th September 2016). Please note, all organizations must transition to the new standard by the transition deadline at which point certificates for ISO 9001:2008 will no longer be valid.

CAN I UPGRADE IN 2016 DURING A RE-CERTIFICATION?

Yes – providing your system meets all of the requirements of ISO 9001:2015.

I’M CURRENTLY IMPLEMENTING CERTIFICATION TO ISO 9001, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Continue as planned – you still have until 14th September 2018 to transition to the new 2015 standard and our Assessors will assist you with your transition plans. Take a look at Annex SL which is the high level structure of the new standards though to assist you with your preparation for transition.

THE 2015 VERSION OF THE STANDARD DOES NOT CONTAIN A REQUIREMENT FOR THERE TO BE A MANAGEMENT REPRESENTATIVE – HOW DOES THIS AFFECT NQA?

NQA will still need a nominated contact for all matters related to certification and the organization of certification visits. NQA do not expect this to have much impact on our relationship with our clients.

WHAT IF I WANT TO TRANSITION MORE QUICKLY THAN MY SURVEILLANCE VISIT ALLOW?

You are more than welcome to transition from September 2015, however this will require additional days (and as such, costs) which will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us as soon as possible so that we can plan appropriately.

WILL THERE BE A COST FOR CERTIFICATE RENEWAL?

No – there will be no charge for certificate renewals.

HOW DO I FIND OUT HOW FAR WE ARE THROUGH THE TRANSITION PROCESS?

Our Assessors and Client Executives will be working closely with our clients to track your progression towards the new standard. You should speak to your Client Executive to establish exactly where you are in the transition process.

HOW CAN NQA SUPPORT ME THROUGH THIS PROCESS?

The whole NQA team are trained to answer any questions you may have. NQA will be able to advise what you need to do to meet the new requirements but please note, it will be up to you to plan and implement the changes within your business. There is lots of supporting documentation available from NQA to help you during this time.

I HAVE QUESTIONS REGARDING MY CERTIFICATION NOW – WHO DO I TALK TO?

You can contact us online or you can contact a member of the team on (800) 649 5289.

I HAVE AN INTEGRATED SYSTEM INCLUDING ISO 14001 AND BS OHSAS 18001, HOW WILL THE CHANGES TO ISO 9001 AND THESE STANDARDS AFFECT MY SYSTEM AND TRANSITION?

The introduction of Annex SL will aid the integration process for ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 (expected October 2016). You will need to think about transition dates and transition plans carefully though due to the different publication dates.

NEXT STEPS

Research: The standard changes to understand their core impact and how they will affect your business. Ensure that Quality Managers and Internal Auditors understand the differences that Annex SL (common text and structure) will bring to the design, operation and performance of your QMS and any other management system standards in your organization.

Talk to NQA; Both your Assessor and wider NQA team are equipped to deal with any questions you may have relating to the standard changes – all you have to do is ask. Formalise: Create a transition plan and process and ensure that top management is involved from the start.

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