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A deeper insight into the upcoming revision on ISO 9001:2008

Perhaps the biggest news this year for ISO (or at least the most talked about) is the revision of ISO 9001:2008, to the new standard, ISO 9001:2015, that is due to be published in September 2015.

And whilst you’ve probably heard all about this upcoming revision, it’s likely that you may not know the exact key concepts and changes that will be implemented with ISO 9001:2015.

So, after digesting the information released in the past few weeks, we’ve created this fact sheet to help keep you firmly in the loop, which is of great importance if your business is currently registered with ISO 9001:2008

Annex SL – The Key Changes

Firstly, what is Annex SL? Replacing the dated ISO Guide 83, Annex SL will expand on the base structure in place, providing the new high level structure for ISO Management systems standards. Importantly, the audit process efficiency will be improved, in addition to streamlining management systems.

Created to introduce identical core text, and common terms and definitions, Annex SL will:

  • Streamline standards
  • Ease the integration of management systems
  • Encourage standardisation

The Structure of ISO 9001:2015 and Key concepts

Structurally, Annex SL will define ISO 9001:2015 in the following ways:


Planning is a new term that will be introduced to the high level structure, with the requirement to address risks and opportunities, to carefully planned changes within the management system.

For example, risks and opportunities, could relate to the use of electronic systems within the management system. Introducing such systems would require change and transition arrangements, which should be planned within the management system.


This new term builds upon the 2008 requirements for competence and awareness, and will be extended to accommodate people under the organisation’s control, not just employees and communication. This is an enhanced requirement and with the increasing use of outsourced providers, it will remind us that this resource is highly useful.

Performance Evaluation

While performance evaluation will have similar themes to the existing standard, new emphasis will be focused on evaluation in addition to the current requirement to measure and analyse. What’s more, evaluation is the interpretation of results and analysis. This is not new to managers but is made explicit in the standard for the first time.


A change will occur in the enhancement of top management leadership, and the ability to engage directly with the system. Top management will be expected to ensure the quality policy and objectives consistency, in a ‘hands on’ approach.

Context of the Organisation

A new concept: the context of the organisation will impact the type and complexity of the management system needed. This relates to the external factors and conditions that effect the organisation, such as stakeholders and shareholders, regulation, governance and sector.

In addition to:

  • Normative References
  • Terms and Definitions
  • Improvement
  • Scope
  • Operation


As a summarised view of the most noticeable changes to ISO 9001:2015 arriving later this year, we will see an enhanced emphasis on the process approach being incorporated in the DIS with a requirement for the organisation to determine its processes.

Additionally, risk concept will be introduced, with a requirement to determine risks and opportunities, and to plan accordingly. Although all management systems, in particular ISO 9001, are fundamentally about managing risk, this is the first time risk actually gets an explicit mention.

Finally, if you’re an organisation that is currently registered to ISO 9001:2008, you will have 3 years to transition to the 2015 standard. And in the meantime, keep up to date with the latest ISO 9001:2015 news, to best prepare for this upcoming revision of quality management accreditation.




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