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SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, is helping existing ISO 9001 holders to start the transition to the new ISO 9001:2015 version of the standard to ensure continuity throughout their certification service as the deadline approaches.

The current ISO 9001:2008 standard will cease to apply from the middle of September 2018 and holders that do not transition to the new standard will no longer be certified.

Paul Stock, ISO 9001 Product Manager at SGS, comments: “Those organisations that have not begun the transition process are cutting things fine, as existing certificates under the 2008 version will be withdrawn and cancelled in just under a year.

“Our advice is, most importantly, for businesses to get a copy of the new standard, read it and understand it. We expect great demand for certification as we get closer to the deadline, so it’s important that they get in touch with their certification body. They are the best people to talk to with regard to handling the transition.”

The updated ISO 9001:2015 quality management system (QMS) certification has introduced new key features, and has been designed to benefit all business - irrespective of industry. The evolution of how businesses work, their processes and their concepts have all impacted upon the updated standard; this includes an increased use of social media, e-commerce and new business technology.

Periodically, the International Organisation for Standardisation reviews all ISOs to ensure their validity to current business needs and 2015 saw the latest release of ISO 9001. Previous reviews took place in 2000 and in 2008 where changes were minimal. The new 2015 standard, therefore, has 15 years of innovation in business practices to consider and reflect. It is because of this that the 2015 certification has introduced some core changes, bringing it closer to contemporary business concepts and terminologies.

One of the most significant changes to the standard’s requirements is the emphasis placed on senior management and leadership engagement. Business leaders must now be able to demonstrate a greater commitment to, and direct involvement in, their company’s QMS.

A major focus has also been given to risk and opportunity. The element of risk has always featured in the standard, but the new structured approach to the process will help companies to identify and take actions in a more effective and efficient manner.

“ISO 9001:2015 is an internationally recognised certification,” explains Paul, “it increases customer trust in a company’s services and processes, and demonstrates to suppliers that a business delivers a consistently high standard of service, to both external and internal stakeholders.”

Whilst changes to the certification have indeed been significant, achieving compliance is not as complex as businesses may think. In particular, SMEs and small businesses that fear they are not yet ready to successfully transition, could be just a few small steps away from ISO 9001:2015 compliance. “Many of the early adopters have signalled their satisfaction on how the standard has enhanced their business’s strategic direction and how SGS was able to provide several useful tools and focused training”, said Paul.

Of course, ISO 9001:2015 certification is not just for current holders of the ISO 9001:2008 standard. The globally acknowledged standard has been designed to benefit businesses of any size, sector and service.

Paul comments: “If you have a certified QMS in place it should increase the effectiveness of your operation; with that comes high levels of customer satisfaction and that, in turn, can result in increased profitability and stability for your business”.

SGS has published a Readiness Checker guide for organisations to ascertain how close they are to transitioning. Further support is offered from the SGS Academy team, which has produced a series of workshops for QHSE managers. The workshops align with the ISO 9001:2015 standard, and equip QHSE teams with the tools and knowledge to engage with senior management on quality issues.

“SGS will collaborate with organisations to book their audit before the September deadline” explains Paul “and will help to guarantee their continuation of certification”

For more information about ISO 9001:2015 and how your business can begin the transition, please contact:

SGS United Kingdom Ltd
t: +44 (0)800 900 094

ABOUT SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 90,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,000 offices and laboratories around the world.