Changes on ISO standards

Changes on ISO standards

  • ISO 9001:2015
  • ISO 14001:2015

What are the emerging changes?

All ISO standards will now have a new common ISO format (Annex SL High Level Structure). The developed new structure will be used across all Management System Standards.

What are the features of Annex SL?

  • Mandated by ISO’s Technical Management Board (TMB)
  • High level structure, identical core text and common terms and core definitions for use in all Management System Standards
  • Purpose – Enhance the consistency and alignment of different management system standards
  • Organizations who implement a single system addressing multiple standards (e.g. QMS, EMS, ISMS, etc.) will see the most potential benefit.

What are the salient points in the new structure?

  • Decrease the emphasis on Documentation
  • Increase the emphasis on Achieving Value for the Organization and its customers
  • Increase emphasis on Risk Management to achieve objectives

Some key salient points in ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015

For ISO 9001:2015:

1.     Terminology – certain terminologies have been changed such as below comparison:

ISO 9001:2008 ISO 9001:2015
Products Products and services
Exclusions Not used (See Annex A.4 for clarification of applicability)
Documentation, records Documented information
Work environment Environment for the operation of processes
Purchased product Externally provided products and services
Supplier External provider
Management Responsibility Leadership
Continual Improvement Improvement

Example in ISO 9001:2008, the term “product” includes all output categories and in ISO 9001:2015, the term “products and services” includes all output categories (hardware, services, software and processed materials).

2. Restructure of the requirements:

  • Context of Organization – addresses needs and expectations of interested parties, determining the scope of the QMS
  • Leadership – addresses commitment, customer focus, policy, roles, responsibility & authority
  • Planning – includes risks, opportunities, objectives and plans to achieve them, the planning of changes
  • Support – includes resources, competence, awareness, communication and documented information
  • Operation – includes planning & control, requirements for products and services, design and development of products and services, control of externally provided processes, products and services, production and service provision, release of products and services, control of nonconforming outputs
  • Performance Evaluation – includes monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation, internal audit and management review
  • Improvement – addresses nonconformity and corrective action, continual improvement.
  • Other features:
    • An explicit requirement for risk-based thinking to support and improve the understanding and application of the process approach.
    • Fewer prescribed requirements.
    • Less emphasis on documents.
    • Improved applicability for services.
    • A requirement to define the boundaries of the QMS.
    • Increased emphasis on organizational context.
    • Increased leadership requirements.
    • Greater emphasis on achieving desired outcomes to improve customer satisfaction.

For ISO 14001:2015:

The main changes are:

  • Increased prominence of environmental management within the organization’s strategic planning processes
  • Greater focus on leadership
  • Addition of proactive initiatives to protect the environment from harm and degradation, such as sustainable resource use and climate change mitigation
  • Improving environmental performance added
  • Lifecycle thinking when considering environmental aspects
  • Addition of a communications strategy

Transition to ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015

The Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) of ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 have been released in July 2015 and the expected publication as International Standard (IS) for ISO 9001:2008 is on 15th of September 2015.

GIC will notify in detail of the transition arrangement to all the clients. To get prepared for the migration and to know more about the changes, you are encouraged to join our Training Programs on ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015. Please email us at for any enquiry on our training.

Acknowledgement and References: ISO/TC 176 presentation, ISIO/TC 207/SC 1, FDIS ISO 9001:2015 and FDIS ISO 14001:2015.