ISO 9001:2015 and beyond preparing for the next 25 years of quality management Standards


This article by Dr Nigel H Croft first appeared in ISO Focus+ September 2012 and is summarised here with permission.

The ISO 9000 family of Standards has reached its 25th year of publication consistently starring as ISO's most popular and best-selling series of Standards. Building on a quarter century of success, ISO/technical committee (TC) 176, Quality management and quality assurance, subcommittee (SC) 2, Quality systems is now busy laying the groundwork for the next generation of quality management Standards.

A silver jubilee is always an important time to both look forward and to assess what has been achieved. This includes the firm establishment of a common platform and language for organisations to use in discussing quality; by defining requirements in ISO 9001 Quality management systems that give a base-level confidence in an organisation's ability to provide conforming products, the Standards have also facilitated world trade. The ISO 9000 suite has formed a basis for the development of other quality management systems in such areas as environmental, health and safety, information security, and energy with the result that these Standards are widely used in specific sectors as diverse as aerospace, telecommunications, education, local government, and healthcare. As the Chair of ISO/TC 176/SC 2, Dr Nigel Croft says, 'the incredible success of the ISO 9001 certification phenomenon has helped global supply chains to become more effective and more efficient.'

The vision of ISO/TC 176/SC 2 is to ensure its Standards provide a solid foundation for quality management well into the future so that ISO 9001 and ISO 9004 are 'recognised and respected worldwide, and used by organisations as an integral component of their sustainable development initiatives'. This journey will see third-party certification to ISO 9001 remain a key driver for the over one million organisations worldwide that now have quality management system certification to the Standard. But quality management must come to be seen as so much more than a set of requirements if it is to be promoted in its widest sense and to keep on helping organisations achieve long-term success.

Both ISO 9001 and ISO 9004 have had their set of eight quality management principles, developed in the mid-1990s, fully reviewed and found to be in need of only a few minor adjustments for the next generation of quality management Standards. Since the publication of the minor amendment to ISO 9001 in 2008, SC 2 has been extensively researching and preparing for the next major revision, currently forecast for 2015.

→ The New Zealand Organisation for Quality is marking the ISO 9000 Silver Jubilee by making its October 2012 QNewZ newsletter (normally members only) available to download for free from (scroll down to 'ISO 9000 turns 25'). The October 2012 issue includes articles on ISO 9000 and the future revision of ISO 9001 scheduled for publication in 2015. Take a look to see how your organisation might benefit from systematic application of quality management

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