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10 things you need to know about the ISO 2015 revisions

We previously published a series of 10 blogs on the revisions to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, and they have proved very popular. The content of those blogs was based mainly on the Draft International Standard (DIS) versions which were published in 2014. With the publication of the actual ISO Standards in September 2015, our series of 10 blogs has been updated and amended to reflect any changes in the content, timescales and other practical arrangements

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Step 1: ISO Publication & Beyond

This is the new Step 1- the other blogs have retained the same titles and cover the same High Level Structure (HLS) clauses, with Step 10 Next Steps now updated to reflect the publication of the actual ISO standards. Between Step 1 and Step 10 we have updated the blogs to reflect the ISO content and also include some of our experience to date with the new standards.

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Step 2: The High Level Structure

In my first blog ISO Publication and Beyond, I provided an update on the publication of the ISO Standards, and a quick summary of any key changes, together with useful links and information on the new standards. This second blog in the series looks at the Higher Level Structure (HLS) which is now being used for all new and revised management system standards. The HLS approach is a logical and sensible idea to try and harmonize the basic structure and content of all management system standards, and is defined under an ISO Directive in Annex SL (just in case that reference crops up in other blogs and documentation).

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Step 3: Clauses 1, 2 and 3

In my previous two blogs I covered the overall approach and timelines for the revisions of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, and the common Higher Level Structure (HLS) being adopted for both. This blog is where we start discussing the actual Higher Level Structure Clauses.

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Step 4 - New ISO

Step 4: Context

This Clause introduces some significant changes in both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, and is split into four sub-clauses defined under the Higher Level Structure (HLS):

4.1: Understanding the organization and its context
4.2: Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties
4.3: Determining the scope of the management system
4.4: Management System

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Step 5: Leadership

This Clause includes a good proportion of content which will be familiar from the existing ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, and also introduces some more subtle innovations to the concepts of the role of higher level management.

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Step 6: Planning

This Clause is an excellent addition to both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, because it introduces the concept of risk (and opportunity) to both standards via the High Level Structure (HLS). This is also where I can genuinely claim that DNV GL has been in the “risk” business for a very long time- and by that I mean in the field of certification also- since we have been delivering Risk Based Certification since 2004. The approach is based on the audit being built around areas of risk to the organization’s business, in any relevant area, and auditing in depth to assess whether the organization is managing that risk effectively.

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Step 7: Support

This clause of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 gathers together in one place all the areas relating to the ‘people, place and procedural’ aspects of the management systems.  In most areas this clause does not require any significant changes, but there are some of the additional requirements drafted for each standard which will require some new thinking, particularly around Organizational Knowledge.

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Step 8: Operation

This Clause basically represents the production and operational control parts of the Standards- the ‘engine house’ of production (particularly for ISO 9001). It is probably best to discuss each separately, as, in a similar way to the existing ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, there are big differences in the content and detail for each.

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Step 9: Performance Evaluation

I’ve decided to put these two Clauses into the one blog for a couple of reasons – the first one is because they are significantly similar to the existing ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 in many respects, and also because the two clauses cover the performance evaluation, improvement and internal assurance aspects of the newly configured standards.

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Step 10: Timeline and Next Steps

My series of blogs has covered these Clauses, and has hopefully provided some context and direction for your organization in getting to grips with the new ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015. This final step in my series covers the timeline for implementation, some recommendations on ‘what now’, and also some suggestions for useful resources.

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