The Final Deadline: ISO 9001:2015 Compliance is Mandatory by September
Corporate College® can assist businesses in transitioning to the new standards
ISO 9001 is widely accepted as the quality management system within a wide range of industries. Compliance with ISO 9001 is a clear indicator to customers, vendors and competitors that your business adheres to the highest quality management standards for its systems and processes.
In September 2015, the International Organization for Standardization approved revisions to ISO 9001. Called ISO 9001:2015, companies wishing to stay ISO-certified would have three years to implement the revisions.
As the calendar would indicate, three years isn’t a lot of time in the world of business. It’s now 2018, and ISO 9001:2015 compliance must occur by September.
“Manufacturing companies are the ones primarily impacted by this, but any organization can adopt ISO 9001,” said Samantha Kaplan, director of quality and continuous improvement at Corporate College East. “For any organization that is ISO-certified, this three-year window has been a critical time. Failing to comply with the revisions could result in a loss of certification, and that could impact your business on many levels.”
Many companies mandate ISO certification as a condition of conducting business. Without certification, a company can lose vendors or customers.
In a nutshell, compliance with ISO 9001:2015 is important — but that’s only part of the equation. Businesses also want to know: What does it entail? How does the 2015 version of ISO 9001 differ from previous versions?
“One of the new things in the updated standards is a much tighter focus on the concepts of organization and strategy,” Kaplan said. “The idea that quality management should be a part of a larger strategy that takes into account an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats — often referred to by the acronym ‘SWOT.’”
The tighter focus on high-end strategy incorporates a wider range of management-related topics, such as identifying acceptable levels of risk, when to invest in new equipment and other capital expenditures, and knowledge retention.
“As the workforce continues to age, many companies are faced with the same dilemma,” Kaplan said. “Employees who have been with the company for years — or even decades—are retiring and taking lots of institutional and industry knowledge with them. A comprehensive quality management strategy includes the question of how to keep that knowledge in-house when someone leaves.”
In addition, the new standards increase the role of executive and C-suite leadership in the direct oversight of quality management.
“Quality management objectives must align with the overall strategic direction of the company, and the new standards place that responsibility with executive leadership,” Kaplan said. “Management can’t simply strategize in a vacuum — they have to understand how that big-picture strategy will be executed while adhering to high quality management standards.”
Though the window to achieve compliance is rapidly shrinking, there is still time. Corporate College is a resource for companies that need assistance in evaluating their ISO 9001:2015 compliance and those that need staff training to achieve compliance.
“On the evaluation side, we can train your internal audit team and we can directly conduct audits as well,” Kaplan said. “We can perform a gap analysis that assesses a company’s readiness for transition to the new standards.”
Corporate College can also organize and conduct training for staff, providing valuable information on what ISO 9001 is and how the 2015 update affects them, as well as direct assistance in the implementation of ISO 9001:2015.
But the most important thing to remember is to act now.
“Even now, at the 11th hour, we have companies calling us asking for help,” Kaplan said. “If you still haven’t transitioned to ISO 9001:2015, you’re not alone. But it usually takes between three and six months to complete the transition, so don’t wait any longer. The clock is ticking.”
For more information on the ways in which Tri-C can help your company make the transition, visit Tri-C’s ISO standards page.
February 21, 2018
Erik Cassano, 216-987-3577 or firstname.lastname@example.org